Fox News is exercising some caution when it comes to the malaria drug it's been hyping for weeks.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the network's hosts have repeated the idea — without proof — that the drug hydroxychloroquine could provide a breakthrough in COVID-19 treatment. But after nearly 300 mentions of the potentially deadly drug, by Media Matters' count, Fox News pundits have backed off.
That turnaround was apparent on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the TV personality who has repeatedly pushed hydroxychloroquine as "promising" and touted positive study results, this time brought up a study where the drug "didn't help, and might harm" a population of older, sicker coronavirus patients. Oz then gave hydroxychloroquine a bit more credit, but concluded "we don't know" whether the drug works and said "we are better off waiting for the randomized trials Dr. [Anthony] Fauci has been asking for."
Oz and other Fox News guests' influence on hydroxychloroquine has reached the White House, though President Trump has slowed down his promotion of the drug in the past few weeks as well.