White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday defended his work advising the public on the coronavirus pandemic, saying he has not misled the American public “under any circumstances.”
The comment came in response to retweets by President Donald Trump on Monday evening. The posts, which have since been removed, accused Fauci of misleading Americans and promoted hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted by Trump as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.
“The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease,” Fauci said during an interview Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.”
In addition to treating malaria, hydroxychloroquine is often used by doctors to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It is known to have serious side effects, including muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration pulled its authorization for emergency use after determining it was “unlikely” to be effective in treating people with Covid-19.
Trump and other administration officials in recent weeks have criticized Fauci’s advice on the pandemic, widening an apparent rift between the White House and its top infectious disease advisor who is a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.
In a scathing op-ed earlier this month, Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro said Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.” Similarly, during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said, “Dr. Fauci’s a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.”