Fox guest describes malaria drug as 'quack cure' for coronavirus

A guest on Fox News is criticizing calls to use the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, calling it a "quack cure" typical of epidemics.

"That is nonsense, complete and utter nonsense," Access Health International Chairman William Haseltine said in response to a direct question from Fox News's Dana Perino about the drug, which repeatedly has been touted by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE as a treatment for coronavirus victims. 

Haseltine said that it was "sad" to see people in positions of authority promoting usage of the drug without sufficient tests for its effectiveness. 

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"In any situation, there are always going to be people who promote one kind of quack cure or another, and there are Lazarus effects. In every epidemic I’ve ever looked at, that is the case," he said. 

"It is not something to take unless a doctor prescribes it," Haseltine added.

On Sunday, Trump hailed the drug as a potential treatment, acknowledging that he was not a doctor but asking what people had to lose in trying the drug. 

Experts have said there are risks, as the drug has side effects that could be dangerous to some people. 

The administration's promotion of the drug is reported to have caused a dispute during a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force on Saturday, during which White House trade adviser Peter Navarro supposedly aimed a line of sharp criticism at Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration 'Highest priority' is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, Fauci says Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight MORE, the nation's top infectious disease expert, over his discomfort regarding such remarks.

In her interview, Perino described the treatment as a drug that health experts say has not been proved to treat the coronavirus.