Trump announces emergency authorization for coronavirus plasma treatment – as it happened | US news

 

Donald Trump has been to his golf club in Virginia today but not long ago, according to the White House pool report, he left it.

In the words of the same report: “The president’s schedule shows no public events today but Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted last night to expect a 6pm press conference with the president, ‘concerning a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China Virus’.

“She indicated health secretary Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn will attend.”

On Saturday, Trump caused predictable consternation by tweeting that “the deep state or whoever over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. They’re hoping to delay the answer until after 3 November. Most- must focus on speed.”

Chief of staff Mark Meadows backed the president up on the Sunday shows, of course, while on CBS’s Face the Nation, a former FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, was asked about Trump’s remark.

“Well, I’m not sure exactly what he’s talking about,” he said, speaking for the nation, before defending the FDA’s honour.

Gottlieb also said he thought Trump’s tweet may have been “about plasma … I think the president scoped into that tweet a comment on vaccines” and said of the trailed announcement on Sunday: “I would guess it’s the emergency use authorization for plasma.”

He expanded: “What plasma is is basically taking the antibodies from people who’ve recovered, so it’s a blood product, and infusing them in people who are sick. And if you use it early enough in the course of the disease, there is some precedent for it being beneficial in the treatment of viruses. And so it is a good therapeutic to have in the overall armamentarium.

“But the bottom line is it’s widely available right now, patients are getting it. The EUA, the emergency use authorization, will enable probably easier access in certain settings, but it’s incremental, and you know, incremental gains are important here.”

Originally published: 2020-08-23 22:30:54

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