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White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx joined “Hannity” Monday to answer questions surrounding the antimalarial drug hydroxachloroquine and its experimental use to fight the coronavirus.
“I think we do a lot of drug use off-label. Physicians do all the time. And I think that’s why the president made it very clear that this is up to the physician and the patient. And what the president has worked really hard on is making sure that the medication is available in pharmacies and hospitals around the United States,” Birx told host Sean Hannity. “So physicians have the ability to make that choice. At the same time, there are rigorous clinical trials going on both by the WHO [World Health Organization] and NIH [National Institutes of Health] to look at this drug and other drugs that are under development.”
President Trump has touted the use of hydroxychloroquine during his daily coronavirus briefings despite pushback from health experts who warn that the drug could potentially be dangerous and its effectiveness against COVID-19 hasn’t been proven.
Hannity pressed Birx as to whether or not she would consider the treatment herself if her doctor presented it as an option.
“I would certainly listen to [the doctor] and his or her wisdom on what I should be taking. And I think that’s well, every patient looks at their doctor,” Birx said. “And I think what has happened over the last month, the information has really gotten out to the American people and to physicians around the United States and making them aware that this is an available option.”
Birx stressed the importance of clinical research, but added that it was vital that physicians had treatment options.
“As a country, we’re doing the clinical research during this time, not inhibiting the use of physicians from being able to use this with their patients,” Birx said. “But also recognizing that those two things can happen in parallel [is important].”
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.