(USA Features) The nation’s leading infectious disease doctor insisted that he and President Donald Trump are on the same page when it comes to how best to approach the spreading coronavirus from a drug treatment standpoint.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pushed back against suggestions that he and the president don’t see eye-to-eye over the use of a long-standing anti-malaria drug to treat COVID-19 patients after some limited tests and studies indicate it might be effective.
“There is an issue here of where we’re coming from,” Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s Face The Nation. “The president has heard, as we all have heard, what I call anecdotal reports that certain drugs work.”
The president suggested last week a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine was one of several that could be used as a treatment.
“I think without seeing too much, I’m probably more of a fan of that,” Trump told reporters during one of his virus briefings. “And we all understand what the doctor said is 100 percent correct.”
But what the president was attempting to express, Fauci said Sunday, “was the hope that if they might work, let’s try and push their usage.”
Fauci added that he does not disagree with the fact that “anecdotally, they might work.” However, he added that he wants to test more and prove what actually works.
“I was taking a purely medical, scientific standpoint, and the president was trying to bring hope to the people,” Fauci said. “I think there’s this issue of trying to separate the two of us. There isn’t fundamentally a difference there. He’s coming to it from a hope, layperson standpoint. I’m coming from it from a scientific standpoint.”
More than 26,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S., leading to at least 340 deaths as of Sunday morning.