Fauci: Henry Ford hydroxychloroquine study is ‘flawed’

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to testify at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

    A study touted by President Donald Trump, Republicans and business lobbyists on hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 doesn’t pass muster with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

    Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who advises the White House on coronavirus, testified before a U.S. House subcommittee Friday.

    The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has pulled the emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment after numerous studies have shown severe health risks for some patients. This week, former FDA head Scott Gottlieb said, “We can definitively say hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work.”

    President Donald J. Trump talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 | Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr Public Domain

    Trump said he took the drug in May as a preventative measure against coronavirus has continued to tweet his support for the drug.

    On Friday, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) asked Fauci about the Dearborn-based Henry Ford Health System study that showed positive impacts.

    “That study is a flawed study, and I think anyone who examines it carefully is that it is not a randomized placebo-controlled trial,” Fauci said.

    He said it was a non-controlled, retrospective cohort study that had “a number of issues,” most notably that those patients who took hydroxychloroquine were also using corticosteroids.

    Luetkemeyer noted that the study was peer-reviewed.

    “It doesn’t matter; you can peer-review something that’s a bad study. The fact is it is not a randomized placebo-controlled trial,” Fauci said. “The point that I think is important, because we all want to keep an open mind, any and all of the randomized placebo-controlled trials, which is the gold standard of determining if something is effective, none of them have shown any efficacy for hydroxychloroquine.”

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.