President Donald Trump used part of his Sunday coronavirus briefing to detail the federal government’s massive shipment of medical supplies to states whose capacity is at risk of being stretched by hospitalizations related to the outbreak.
“Since last Sunday, cargo planes have delivered almost — listen to this — 300 million gloves, almost 8 million masks, and 3 million gowns, and many more fully-loaded cargo planes are, right now, on the way,” Trump said, according to the Washington Examiner. “Three big ones landed today, and these supplies are being distributed directly to the hospitals and health care providers all across the nation.”
New York City is set to receive 600,000 N95 masks from those deliveries, Trump said, and Suffolk County, New York will receive 200,000. “We’ll also be deploying millions of N95 masks to other locations,” he said, according to the Examiner.
Ventilators were also delivered to a number of locations, including 500 to New Jersey, 300 to Michigan, and 200 to Louisiana, Trump said. He also reported that Washington state returned 400 ventilators so that other states could use them.
Anti-malaria drug stockpiled
Trump also indicated that the federal government has purchased massive amounts of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to distribute to states in the hopes it might help prevent deaths from the disease.
“We have it stockpiled — about 29 million doses. We have a lot of it. We hope it works,” the president said.
The mainstream media establishment has criticized Trump for promoting the use of the drug despite the lack of data on its use as a treatment for coronavirus, but Trump has remained optimistic about the medication’s promise in the fight against COVID-19.
The president noted during Sunday’s press conference that the drug has been safely used by millions of people around the world to treat malaria, lupus, and other autoimmune conditions and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had provided emergency authorization for its use by coronavirus patients.
“What do you have to lose?” Trump said, referring to its use in serious cases in which a patient’s life might be at risk, according to MarketWatch.
California physician Dr. Anthony Cardillo is among the medical professionals who have reported seeing significant success in using hydroxychloroquine with seriously ill coronavirus patients, according to San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO-TV.
Cardillo says he has personally witnessed coronavirus patients becoming “basically symptom-free” in “8 to 12 hours,” but he also warned that the drug should not be used for patients who aren’t seriously ill, because doing so could potentially cause shortages for patients who already take the drug on a regular basis for other health conditions.
Nevertheless, Cardillo’s observations provide real cause for hope. “Clinically I am seeing a resolution,” he said of his experience treating COVID-19 patients with the drug.