CDC Nixes 'Highly Unusual' Wording on Trump-Pushed Drugs

'Why would CDC be publishing anecdotes? That doesn't make sense.'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2020 7:21 AM CDT
CDC Nixes 'Highly Unusual' Wording on Trump-Pushed Drugs
This Monday photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

What Reuters calls "highly unusual guidance" on two drugs President Trump has been pushing to treat the coronavirus has been removed from the CDC site almost as quickly as it went up. The original guidance on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which showed up over the weekend under "Therapeutic Options," read: "Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some US clinicians have reported anecdotally" on ways to prescribe it. Now, after a Tuesday update, the section starts: "There are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the [FDA] to prevent or treat COVID-19." Medical experts were surprised at the original wording. "No references, no nothing," Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, told Reuters over the weekend. "Why would CDC be publishing anecdotes? That doesn't make sense. This is very unusual."

A CDC statement says the original guidance had been requested by doctors and the White House virus task force to be reviewed and posted "as quickly as possible." However, the Hill notes Dr. Anthony Fauci, part of that task force, recently warned against using the drug for the virus without more study. Jeffrey Flier, a former dean at Harvard Medical School, agrees. "We are in an emergency and we need to rely on our government to ensure that all these potential therapies are tested in the most effective and objective way," he told Reuters. "The president is short-circuiting the process with his gut feelings." A White House statement denies any "pressure campaign" and claims Trump is simply seeking "an unprecedented collaboration to expedite vaccine development." Politico and the Atlantic look more into hydroxychloroquine and how it has made its way into the public eye. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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