"Dr. Fauci, it was explained yesterday there has been some promise with hydroxychloroquine, this potential therapy for people who are infected with coronavirus. Is there any evidence to suggest that, as with malaria, it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?".
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
"No. The answer is, is no. And the the evidence that you're talking about, John, is anecdotal evidence. So as the commissioner of FDA and the president mentioned yesterday, we're trying to strike a balance between making something with a potential of an, of an effect to the American people available at the same time that we do it under the auspices of a protocol that would give us information to determine if it's truly safe and truly effective. But the information that you're referring to specifically is anecdotal. It was not done in a controlled clinical trial. So you really can't make any definitive statement about it."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President:
"I think without saying too much, I'm probably more of a fan of that than maybe than anybody, but I'm a big fan. We'll see what happens. And we all understand what the doctor said is 100 percent correct. It's early. But we've, you know, I've seen things that are impressive. We'll see. We're going to know soon. We're going to know soon and including safety. But, you know, when you get to safety, this has been prescribed for many years for people to combat malaria, which was a big problem. And it's very effective. It's a strong, it's a strong drug. So we'll see."
4. UPSOUND (English) Peter Alexander, NBC News:
"Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things, may be giving Americans a false sense of hope and misrepresenting..."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President:
"No, I don't think so. No, I don't think so. I think that, I think it's got (Alexander interrupts with question)...Such a lovely question. Look, it may work and it may not work. And I agree with the doctor, what he said. It may work, may not work. I feel good about it. That's all it is, just a feeling, you know, I'm a smart guy. I feel good about it. And we're gonna see, you're gonna see soon enough, ok?"
6. UPSOUND (English) Peter Alexander, NBC News:
"So what do you say to the Americans who are scared, though? I guess nearly 200 dead, 14-thousand who are sick. Millions, as you witness, who are scared right now. What you say to Americans are watching you right now who are scared?"
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President:
"I say that you're a terrible reporter. That's what I say. I think it's a very nasty question. And I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they're looking for hope and you're doing sensationalism. And the same with NBC and Concast. I don't call it Comcast, I call it Concast. Let me just - for who you work. Let me just tell you something, that's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I've been right a lot. Let's see what happens, John? You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
In an extraordinary exchange, President Donald Trump and the government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, publicly sparred Friday on whether a malaria drug would work to treat people with coronavirus disease.
The scene played out on national television during the daily White House briefing on the outbreak.
A reporter asked both men if a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine could be used to prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as Trump had suggested a day earlier when Fauci wasn't with him at that briefing.
Although there has been much back and forth about that drug in recent days, no medicine specifically approved for treating COVID-19.
Fauci took the question and got right to the point. "No," he said. "The answer ... is no.
"The information that you're referring to specifically is anecdotal," Fauci added firmly. "It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it."
He went on to explain that the Food and Drug Administration is looking for a way to make the drug available to patients for emergency use, but in a manner that gives the government data about whether it's safe and effective. Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH and in more than 30 years has handled HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola and now the new coronavirus.
But Trump stuck to what his gut was telling him. As the two men took turns at the podium, Trump said he disagreed with the notion that there is no magic drug for the coronavirus disease. "Maybe and maybe not, " he said. "Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. We have to see."
He struck an upbeat note, while trying not to directly challenge Fauci. "It may work, may not work. I feel good about it. That's all it is, just a feeling, you know, I'm a smart guy. I feel good about it," Trump said.
The president also attacked a NBC reporter who asked if his "impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope."
Trump shot back at Peter Alexander calling him a "terrible reporter" and saying he "should be ashamed" of himself.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.