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Anthony Fauci lauded for ignoring physicist Erik Nielsen's mail to promote HCQ: 'Trump gambled incorrectly'

Physicist Erik Nielsen wrote a mail to Anthony Fauci asking him to try hydroxychloroquine and recommended a drug called Alvesco
Dr Anthony Fauci speaks as then-President Donald Trump listens during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Dr Anthony Fauci speaks as then-President Donald Trump listens during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After a number of emails sent to Dr Anthony Fauci were obtained by Buzzfeed and The Washington Post, it was discovered that a physicist had approached the top infectious disease expert, urging him to try out hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug which was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, as a possible cure to Covid-19 but Fauci ignored his emails.

The emails caused outrage among a number of Trump supporters who took to Twitter to bash Fauci. One of them with the handle @JAPMXVI reposted screenshots of the emails with the caption, "In an email physicist Erik Nielsen sent to Fauci on March 2020, he recommended not one, but TWO DRUGS that could help battle #COVID19. One of the drugs was Hydroxicloroquine (sic). Donald Trump was dragged when he recommended the same drug. Fauci allowed this to happen #FauciEmails."



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In the emails, Nielsen said that he had instructed his family and friends to take hydroxychloroquine because the drug seemed "effective and safe." However, he said that another drug called Alvesco was better than hydroxychloroquine as "it appears to prevent the virus from replicated so infection is wiped out and no longer contagious." It does not seem like Fauci responded to the physicist's emails. 

Many of the social media users stood up for Fauci, defending him for choosing to not endorse hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure without scientific proof. "Ah yes, a PhD in applied physics. That’s totally the education needed to make recommendations about what drugs to use to treat an illness. I’ll be sure to ask my physicist at CVS about my prescriptions next time I pick them up," one of them said while another replied, "Erik Nilsen is healthcare *adjacent* at best, and it sure seems the data didn't favor ciclesonide or hydroxychloroquine. There is nothing wrong with Fauci ignoring this e-mail and Trump gambled incorrectly on advocating for hydroxychloroquine before it was studied adequately."

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. President Donald Trump participate in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A third quipped, "Hydroxychloroquine* is STILL not used to treat Covid and this is for a reason. Just because one random *physicist* decided to sent Fauci an email laced with conspiracy theories doesn’t mean literally anything at all. These Fauci emails are going to cause peak disinformation." The next remarked, "Good job, you proved that the scientific method is a thing that exists. Fauci had a theory that Hydroxychloroquine would be helpful. It was proven wrong. That's literally 100% what science is all about." One more commented, "Meanwhile, Fauci (and the rest of the medical establishment) was correct in that hydroxychloroquine was not an effective treatment, nor did it seem like it would be. It's generally not a good idea to take biochem advice from a physicist. It's not their ballpark."

One more explained, "Nielsen suggested it before its effectiveness was debunked. trump suggested it after its effectiveness was debunked. understand the difference." Another noted, " you're criticising Fauci for... being sent an email by a physicist about a bullshit treatment? The dude can't control what emails are *sent* to him." A commenter tweeted, "In an email a Nigerian prince sent me on 5/31/2021, he recommended I give him my bank account information. He said he'd transfer a lot of money to me. Sometimes emails are wrong and should be ignored."









What did Fauci say about hydroxychloroquine in the past?

In July 2020, Fauci said during an interview on MSNBC, that all the “valid” scientific data shows malaria drug hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective in treating the coronavirus. “You look at the scientific data and the evidence. And the scientific data ... on trials that are valid, that were randomized and controlled in the proper way, all of those trials show consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci listens during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The comment by Fauci came a day after Trump doubled down on his endorsement of the drug hydroxychloroquine. During a press conference, Trump was asked by a reporter about a video the president shared on Twitter that claimed hydroxychloroquine is “a cure for Covid." By then the video had gone viral across social media platforms.

“I wasn’t making claims,” Trump said of his tweet. “Many doctors think it is extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine coupled with the zinc and perhaps the azithromycin,” he said. “Many doctors think it’s extremely good, and some people don’t. I happen to believe in it. I would take it. As you know, I took it for a 14-day period. And as you know, I’m here. I happen to think it works in the early stages." Trump insisted the drug was safe, saying he had “no problems” when he took it.