Fauci says viral video retweeted by Trump features ‘a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true’

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Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, dismissed a viral video that President Trump shared this week that makes misleading claims about coronavirus.

Trump on Monday retweeted a video showing people in white lab coats holding a press conference in front of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. The group calls itself “America’s Frontline Doctors,” and in the video, physician Stella Immanuel says “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She also criticized studies showing that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus infections as “fake science.”

The video was later removed by YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The president’s tweets were deleted by the social media site.

Fauci told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday that scientific evidence, including clinical trials that were “randomized and controlled in the proper way” have shown “consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.”

Mitchell shared that her family received an email from a friend in Kenya “asking us if now there’s a cure, because she had seen the video.”

“If this can be transmitted around the country and globally so rapidly, don’t we have to do more to stop these dangerous conspiracies from misleading people?” Mitchell asked.

“That’s the reason why I’m very explicit and unambiguous when we say we’ve got to follow the science. If a study that’s a good study comes out and shows efficacy and safety for hydroxychloroquine or any other drug that we do, if you do it in the right way, you accept the scientific data,” Fauci said. 

“But right now today, the cumulative scientific data that has been put together and done over a number of different studies has shown no efficacy. So when there’s a video out there from a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true, the only recourse you have is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that,” he continued.

Trump has defended his retweet of the video, telling reporters Wednesday that he was “very impressed” with Immanuel and “other doctors that stood with her.

“With hydroxy, all I want to do is save lives,” Trump said. “All I want to do is save lives.” 

Several studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective to treat COVID-19, and it can cause adverse health effects, like heart rhythm irregularities.  

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration revoked an emergency approval allowing doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 patients not involved in clinical trials.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Hydroxychloroquine

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