On the eve of the Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump made a major announcement about a new method of treatment for COVID-19.
According to The Hill, Trump revealed Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had authorized emergency use of a so-called “convalescent plasma” treatment for the coronavirus disease.
“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,” Trump explained at the White House on Sunday. “It’s had an incredible rate of success.”
“A great thing”
Speaking with reporters, the president said the authorization of the drug for emergency use is a “historic breakthrough” that will “save countless lives,” The Hill reported.
“Today’s action will dramatically expand access to this treatment,” Trump added. “This is a great thing.”
The president went on to thank those at the FDA who he said “have been working very hard on this,” and hinted that Americans will be hearing news about a potential coronavirus vaccine “very soon, very shortly.”
“To deliver treatments and vaccines to save lives, we’re removing unnecessary barriers and delays not by cutting corners, but by marshaling the full power of the federal government,” Trump said proudly. Take a look at a clip of his remarks, courtesy of MSNBC:
“Optimism isn’t science”
Of course, those on the left have been quick to downplay this achievement by the Trump administration. As The Hill reported, Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, launched his line of attack in a tweet posted on Sunday.
“I’ve been optimistic about convalescent plasma as therapy,” Jha wrote, according to The Hill. “But optimism isn’t science. We need results of adequately powered randomized trials. Issuing an EUA [emergency use authorization] without it would make such trials harder. And erode the credibility of the FDA.”
The Hill reports that some 70,000 Americans have already received the convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19. The disease has infected more than 5.7 million in the U.S., according to The New York Times, and killed nearly 178,000 others.
Could this be the game-changer we’ve all been waiting for?