A day after President Donald Trump declared an anti-malaria drug a “game changer” in the fight against the novel coronavirus, the nation’s top infectious disease expert downplayed any role it might play in the fast-moving pandemic and said signs of the drug’s promise were purely “anecdotal.”
Fauci’s statements at a White House briefing Friday amounted to clinical cold water thrown on the president’s repeated upbeat assessments on the U.S. fight against the virus, also known as COVID-19.
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Trump has falsely declared in recent weeks that anyone who wants a test could get one, despite limited access in parts of the country that continued through this week.
On Thursday, Trump declared an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine a “game changer” in the effort to develop a coronavirus treatment and announced the drug had been “approved.”
Chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, has been approved to treat and prevent malaria since 1944. But no drug has been approved to treat COVID-19, and a vaccine is estimated to remain at least a year away.