Maybe this will get NBC’s attention.
In an interview Tuesday night with a Philadelphia radio show, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the physician who’s become one of the most recognized faces on television during the COVID-19 crisis, said he wouldn’t hesitate to prescribe a known antimalarial drug to a patient who’d been infected with the coronavirus if there were no other option available.
As President Donald Trump put it in a news briefing last week, “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Those weren’t the words used by Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has become a fixture of Trump’s White House media briefings on the coronavirus.
But they would have summed up his viewpoint pretty well as it came out during a WNTP-AM broadcast while answering a question about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, two drugs that most Americans probably never dreamed existed before words like “social distancing” and “flatten the curve” entered the national vocabulary.
When asked by host Chris Stigall about the prospects that the drugs could be useful for coronavirus patients, Fauci gave an equivocal yes — that might not have been as resounding an affirmative as sane Americans would hope, but no doubt came as a disappointment to the mainstream media journalists who’ve criticized Trump’s touting of the drug’s potential.
Check out Fauci’s answer here. The relevant questions starting about the 51-minute mark.
“As I’ve said many times, the data that indicate that are really anecdotal and not proven. What the president and others are saying is there is a possibility that it might work, and in order to give [people] some hope, let’s try it,” he said.
“However, I have said, and I continue to say, the only way you’re going to prove something … is by a controlled trial that gives you significant data.
“It could work, that’s a possibility, but as a scientist, purely as a scientist, I can say that the data are what we call anecdotal. … So we can’t make a statement, yet, ‘It’s working.’
“We can say, ‘Let’s try it, it’s might work.’ Nothing wrong with that. But make sure we try it under the appropriate conditions.”
That sounds an awful lot like what Trump said at Friday’s media briefing where he was baited by NBC’s Peter Alexander over his optimism about chloroquine treatment for the coronavirus.
Noting that the drug could be a “game-changer” in the crisis, the president said he was optimistic.
“I mean, there’s been some interesting things happened — and some good, very good things,” Trump said. “Let’s see what happens, we have nothing to lose. You know the expression, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’”
Alexander disgraced himself on national television with his continued line of questioning, which prompted the president to eventually brand him a “terrible reporter.”
Liberals around the country disgraced themselves even more. Former CNN contributor Jacki Schechner published a Twitter post likening Trump’s answer to the barbaric human experiments conducted by the Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist regime. (To get an idea of how sick the liberal mindset really is, that tweet had received more than 1,200 “likes” as of Wednesday afternoon.)
But Fauci gave Stigall a different take. Asked point-blank whether he would be willing to prescribe it for a patient personally, as a physician, not as “the guy running the coronavirus task force right now,” his answer was unequivocal.
“Yeah, of course, particularly if people have no other option. You want to give them hope,” he said.
“In fact, for physicians in this country, these drugs are approved drugs for other reasons. They’re anti-malaria drugs and they’re drugs against certain autoimmune diseases, like lupus. Physicians throughout the country can prescribe that in an off-label way. Which means they can write it for something it was not originally approved for.
“People do that all the time, and it really is an individual choice between the physician and his or her patient as to whether or not they want to do that.”
Those are not the words of a deluded Trump supporter. They are the words of a trained physician who’s been an important part of the nation’s health care machinery for decades.
Is he promising any drug is the answer to the current crisis? Of course not, and neither was the president — no matter how hard the media tries to make it appear that the two men are at odds.
What both have said is that there are grounds for hope — and hope is rarely a bad thing.
NBC — and the rest of the mainstream media — might want to pay attention.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.