Fauci sent and received e-mails about hydroxychloroquine in 2020, but he did not lie or deliberately conceal information.
An article on the far-right fake news website Gateway Pundit claims that President Biden's Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci lied about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. The headline for the article, which was shared thousands of times on Facebook, reads: "Fauci Was Informed of Hydroxychloroquine Success in Early 2020 But Lied to Public Instead Despite the Science."
While it is true that Fauci had sent and received e-mails on COVID-19, he did not lie about its effectiveness.
According to a previous fact check by USA Today, the first mention of hydroxychloroquine in the e-mail chains dates to February 24, 2020, when Fauci responded to a question about the drug's effectiveness. "Is there any indication/data to substantiate this claim from China (attached publication) that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine can decrease COVID-19 infections and lung disease?" wrote Phil Gatti, a pharmacologist at the FDA.
Fauci responded: "There are no data in this brief report and so I have no way of evaluating their claim. There are a lot of these types of claims going around. I would love to see their data."
In May 2020, Fauci wrote: "We will know soon whether hydroxychloroquine has any beneficial effects as the results of randomized, controlled trials become available,"
As former President Donald Trump claimed repeatedly that hydroxychloroquine could be used to treat COVID-19, Fauci erred on caution and said he would wait on the results of from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH halted its clinical trials as it became clear that the drug offered no additional benefits to hospitalized patients. The FDA and WHO reached similar conclusions.
In conclusion, it is false to state that Fauci concealed information on hydroxychloroquine, which aligns with the medical community's view that more data was needed on the drug. Furthermore, later evidence shows that the effectiveness of the drug has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 by any governing health body, meaning that it would be misleading to state that Fauci deliberately cast doubt on its effectiveness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.