‘Truly historic’: Trump announces FDA emergency approval of new coronavirus treatment

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency authorization to a new treatment for the coronavirus. 

“On the therapeutics front, this is what I’ve been looking to do for a long time,” Trump announced to reporters at a White House news conference.

“Today I’m pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives,” he continued. “The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization — and that’s such a powerful term: emergency use authorization — for a treatment known as convalescent plasma.

“This is a powerful therapy that transfuses very, very strong antibodies from the blood of recovered patients to help treat patients battling a current infection. It’s had an incredible rate of success. Today’s action will dramatically expand access to this treatment,” Trump said.

New treatment approved

The treatment involves using blood plasma from recovered patients to help those who are still infected. Reuters cited a report from the FDA saying that of the 70,000 people who have received the new treatment, an analysis of 20,000 produced positive results.

Peter Marks, who serves as director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, was quoted as telling reporters that it appears the approach is safe.

Marks went on to add that the administration is “comfortable” with the results thus far and that it continues “to see no concerning safety signals.”

Plasma donations encouraged

Dr. Nicole Saphier is a practicing physician as well as a medical correspondent for Fox News, and in a Sunday op-ed she went into detail what the news could mean.

“Plasma is the portion of blood that contains the important antibodies which block the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and ultimately prevent cellular replication and invasion of the virus into human tissues,” she explained.

“The plasma is retrieved from people who have already recovered from COVID-19 and have circulating IgG antibodies in their bloodstream.”

“It may not be the magic ticket to end the pandemic,” Saphier conceded, “but can it save lives if sufficient quantities of IgG are given early enough?”

The Fox News contributor argued that the data suggests it might be able to, something she feels that Americans should be ready to rejoice over.

She concluded by telling “the over 1 million Americans who have already recovered from COVID-19, please consider donating your plasma today so that this potentially life-saving treatment can be readily available nationwide.”

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