President Trump granted an emergency authorization for the usage of a powerful therapeutic treatment which could turn the tides in the fight against the coronavirus.
In a Sunday press conference from the White house on Sunday, the president said the FDA has “issued an 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,” Trump said, adding that the authorization will “expand access to this treatment.”
“Based on the science and the data, the FDA has made the independent determination that the treatment is safe and very effective,” Trump said, before urging all recovered COVID-19 patients in the USA to donate their blood plasma.
“This is the only possible – and it’s only made possible because of Operation Warp Speed that has everybody working together,” Trump added. “We’re years ahead of approvals. We would be – if we went by the speed levels of past administration, we’d be two years, three years behind where we are today, and that includes in vaccines that you’ll be hearing about very soon, very shortly.”
The White House teased the president’s big announcement in a tweet Saturday evening when press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump would be discussing “a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China virus.”
The treatment takes convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and is rich in antibodies. More than 64,000 patients in the U.S. have been given convalescent plasma, a century-old approach to fend off flu and measles before vaccines. It’s a go-to tactic when new diseases come along, and history suggests it works against some, but not all, infections.
Last week White House officials expressed frustration with the FDA – noting that there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the coronavirus.
The White House has been growing particularly frustrated with the slow pace of plasma approval agitated with the pace of the plasma approval.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did mention any names specifically, but said “we’ve looked at a number of people that are not being as diligent as they should be in terms of getting to the bottom of it.”
“This president is about cutting red tape,” said Meadows in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “He had to make sure that they felt the heat. If they don’t see the light, they need to feel the heat because the American people are suffering.”
The White House has put a heavy amount of focus into developing a vaccine for those who want it – but the president acknowledged that some forces were trying to slow coronavirus treatment progress in an effort to harm his chances of re-election.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”