U.S. President Donald Trump’s top official on coronavirus testing appeared to break with the president, saying in an interview on Sunday that “America needs to move on” from the untested drug touted by Trump and some of his top allies.
Appearing on Meet the Press, Admiral Brett P. Giroir said that there is no evidence of the effectiveness hydroxychloroquine, the drug once touted by Trump as a “game-changer” in the earlier days of the outbreak and continually pushed by Trump and his top allies despite evidence that it is not an effective treatment.
Giroir was asked about the potential harm from the mixed messaging of Trump and other close allies, including his son, Donald Trump Jr., pushing the treatment despite a consensus among medical experts that it does not work for the coronavirus. The assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that while there may have been some medical providers who prescribed it for specific circumstances, nearly all doctors are evidence-based and not influenced by what they see on Twitter. This appeared to be a veiled dig at the viral videos and claims on social media promoting hydroxychloroquine.
“We need to move on from that and talk about what is effective from a public health standpoint,” he said, adding that Americans need to continue practicing social distancing by avoiding crowds and wearing masks in public.
He noted that the chances of dying from a COVID-19 infection are significantly lower than they were in April as doctors have a greater understanding of how to treat it and the most effective methods. Hydroxychloroquine was not one of those, he added.
"The evidence just doesn't show hydroxychloroquine is effective, for now." pic.twitter.com/JrQGTGDnfg
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 2, 2020
Giroir’s statement against the treatment comes just days after a controversial push to promote its use. As The Inquisitr reported, Twitter suspended the account of Donald Trump Jr. after he shared a video making what the social media outlet called “misleading” statements about the effectiveness of the anti-malarial treatment. The president has continued to push claims about the drug as well, leading other high-ranking members of his administration to publicly break with him.
Earlier in the week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is “not helpful” that the president has been sharing claims that promote the pharmaceutical and go against the idea of wearing masks.
“My feeling about what we should do with masks is very, very clearly understood by everyone including those in the White House,” he said in an interview with the BBC.