Trump Touts COVID 'Cure.' Here's the Truth.
President Trump is receiving off-label, novel immunotherapy investigational drug combinations to fight his COVID-19 infection. In the meantime, the country suffers from 46,500 new cases on average per day, and it's now clear vaccines will likely not be widely available for several months. So, suppose treatment for the virus is currently the only option. In that case, many Americans wonder if they, too, should receive the President's treatment should they become infected with SARS-CoV2. Especially because he said in a video posted on Twitter, speaking about an experimental antibody cocktail, still in clinical trials, that is produced by Regeneron: "I call that a cure" that everyone should have access to for "free." Read on, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Trump's Treatment is Currently Not Available to Everyone, and is Customized for Him
First, it's essential to understand the course of treatment Trump is receiving. Amongst other drugs, he is getting an immunotherapy drug combination of monoclonal antibodies made by Regeneron. The investigational agent, REGN-COV2, combines two antibodies targeted against a critical protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Early data showed rapidly reduced viral load and lowered the COVID-19 symptoms.
The President is also receiving Remdesivir, a drug that, on March 20, 2020, was made available for people with COVID-19 without meeting the enrollment criteria for the clinical trial in progress. Later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the Emergency Use Authorization (E.U.A.) for it as well.
Again, both treatments the President is receiving have not been peer-reviewed or gone through the traditional safety and regulation measures. In medicine and science, we shy away from rushing processes, as it can have dire consequences.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced via a press release that their first analysis showed it reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19. It can be a potentially good treatment option. Still, only after these studies are published and analyzed will we understand the extent of its benefits.
An interesting part of that drug's development is that Regeneron's monoclonal antibody cocktail wouldn't be possible without the human embryonic stem cell and fetal tissue research.
The Drugs are Still in the Testing Phase
Antibody drugs can be a critical bridge until there is a COVID vaccine. Still, supply is very limited, the cost is high, and these drugs are still in the testing phase. The best case scenario is to avoid getting sick. And to do that, we must continue to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging people to wear masks when outside and to continue physical distancing and avoid indoors as much as possible. COVID is a deadly and severe disease, and its implications can be devastating. So to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, stay outdoors more than indoors when with people you're not sheltering with, wear your face mask, social distance, and don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Dr. Leo Nissola is a Medical Doctor, Immunotherapy Scientist, and Immunology Author. Follow him on Twitter @LeoNissolaMD