This is a comment on “Is Anthony Fauci Really Our Truthteller-in-Chief?” by Kevin Drum. I will briefly summarize. Drum quotes from the latest press conference
“Is there any evidence to suggest that, as with malaria, it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?
DR. FAUCI: No. The answer is no.”
Later after Trump says hydroxychloroquine is the cure for Covid 19 Fauci changed his line to
Q I would like Dr. Fauci, if you don’t mind, to follow up on what the President is saying. Should Americans have hope in this drug right now? . . .
DR. FAUCI: No, there really isn’t that much of a difference in many respects with what we’re saying. The President feels optimistic about something — his feeling about it. What I’m saying is that it might — it might be effective. I’m not saying that it isn’t. It might be effective. But as a scientist, as we’re getting it out there, we need to do it in a way as — while we are making it available for people who might want the hope that it might work, you’re also collecting data that will ultimately show that it is truly effective and safe under the conditions of COVID-19. So there really isn’t difference. It’s just a question of how one feels about it.
Drum thinks more highly of Fauci’s first answer than of his second answer. He guesses
“It’s obvious what he really thinks, after all: hydroxychloroquine is nonsense, period. ”
The problem is that Fauci’s first answer was simply incorrect, wrong, a false assertion on a matter of fact. I am sure he was not lying, but there absolutely 100% no doubt about it and no grounds for debate, there is “evidence to suggest that, as with malaria, it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?@
I link to the top general science journal
“Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of chloroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro,” Jia Liu, Ruiyuan Cao, Mingyue Xu, Xi Wang, Huanyu Zhang, Hengrui Hu, Yufeng Li, Zhihong Hu, Wu Zhong & Manli Wang, Cell Discovery, 18 March 2020
That is not proof that it is effective in vivo. However, given the fact that side effects, interactions etc are very well understood, I think there is no excuse for not prescribing it absent the well known counter indications.
Asserting that it is clear that Fauci thinks Hydroxychloroquine for Covid 19 is nonsense, and that he should say so Drum and others risk convincing people not to use it and risk causing deaths.
Why do people assume that they understand the evidence ? I do because I have noted the pattern that when I disagree with doctors about patient care, they end up saying what I originally said (I promise you I am not the only person who perceives this pattern).
The rule that Trump is always wrong is as near to perfect as any rule of inference can be, but it is always best to double check. Say by googling [hydroxychloroquine inhibits Coronavirus ].
Also read angrybearblog