FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 04, 2020
First Covid-19 drug test is encouraging, so it can be given to more lung virus patients
Summarize a report on the disease from your state or city. Is there reason for optimism?
Read about the economic impact nationally or locally and post a quote.
Look for coverage of a pandemic survivor or victim and describe your reaction after reading.
Medical researchers take a promising step in their struggle against the lung virus pandemic. Federal regulators late last week approved a drug named remdesivir as a treatment for patients severely ill with Covid-19, the lung disease caused by the coronavirus. A clinical trial "has proven is that a drug can block this virus," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent presidential adviser. The virus has claimed more than 65,700 lives in the United States, and over 228,000 worldwide.
"This is really quite important," Fauci added in a televised White House briefing. Remdesivir (pronounced remm-DEZ-if-VEER has "clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," he said. The trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, enrolled 1,063 patients who were given remdesivir or a plain pill. The time to recovery averaged 11 days among those who got the anti-viral drug, compared with 15 days for those who got the neutral pill as a test measurement. There were fewer deaths in the remdesivir group.
An effective medicine seems a more reachable goal than a vaccine. Dr. Fauci and other experts say that developing a vaccine will take a year to 18 months at the earliest, and that rushing the process could endanger public health. "Remdesivir is not a magic bullet, but it's as good as we get right now," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California-San Francisco, and one of the trial's researchers. Remdesivir originally was created to fight Ebola last decade, but a clinical trial in Africa was disappointing.
President Trump says: "Certainly it's positive, it's a very positive event." – April 29 at White House
Drug maker says: "We are now firmly focused on getting this medicine to the most urgent patients around the country. ... We intend to get that to patients in the early part of this next week, beginning to work with the government, which will determine which cities are most vulnerable and where the patients are that need this medicine." – Daniel O'Day, chief executive of Gilead, a California company
Doctor says: "It's a great first step." -- Dr. Robert Finberg, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Front Page Talking Points Archive