LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): We've been talking about this drug hydroxychloroquine for three days now. I first introduced it on the air on Monday, also a sister drug chloroquine. What can you tell us about the administration's ability, perhaps at some point soon, to fast track more trials here in the United States, as they've done in France and China?
ALEX AZAR (SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES): Well, Laura, you've been great about calling attention to this drug as well as all kinds of other measures that we could take. Let me just assure you, President Trump is absolutely adamant that we leave no stone unturned in bringing therapies, cures, vaccines to the American people.
And he's going to make sure that even drugs on an experimental basis, get available to the American people. You know, this is the president, remember, who brought us “right to try" when it comes to drugs, so he's going to take that same kind of attitude when it comes to potential therapies and making them available to the American people. I can assure you of that.
INGRAHAM: Also, it's also a really cheap drug and at least hydroxy doesn't have the same -- sometimes side effects as chloroquine does. Now, there's also been an amazing story just today, yesterday out of Italy, where the small town of Vo, Mr. Secretary, was able to completely stop the spread of the virus. Now, here's what one of the experts involved in the study said about it.
“We were able to contain the outbreak here because we identified and eliminated the submerged infections and isolated them," said the Vo about the approach, “That is what makes the difference." So given the fact that testing seems to really give people a better sense of who's obviously infected, but people who are asymptomatic even, what can you tell us tonight about our ability to ramp up these tests and the reagents, Mr. Secretary, that a lot of these drugs labs are saying they don't have enough of.
AZAR: Well, Laura, that's why from the early days, we've actually encouraged the states, local governments, public health labs, but most importantly the private sector, the clinical labs here in America to get drug -- get these diagnostics developed, and get them out there. And now they've got millions of these tests that they're producing. They're working to get them out there. And what we're trying to do is actually help facilitate states with getting the people connected to those tests to get it easier to get tested here in the United States, get your faster results, so we can get that visibility.
We've been on this from day one, trying to get the states, local governments and private labs engaged with removing regulatory barriers, anything that stands in the way, we've been working to get rid of.