President Donald Trump has granted an emergency authorization of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19, according to a letter from the Food and Drug Administration.
“We’ve been looking to do this for a long time,” President Trump said “This will save countless lives.” He said more than 100,000 have signed up to donate, and it will reduce mortality by 35 percent.
“This is a powerful therapy that transfuses very, very strong antibodies,” Trump said “Today’s action will dramatically expand access to this treatment.”
Trump thanked a host of people, including the FDA, and mentioned that the public will hear about a “vaccine” very soon. “We’re removing unnecessary barriers and delays,” he said, adding, “not by cutting corners.”
The treatment uses blood from COVID-19 patients that have recovered and built antibodies against the virus. It is used on people with mild symptoms of COVID-19 to prevent more severe manifestations of the disease.
Some health officials, including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, have raised concerns about the treatment, Trump was angered by the initial Food and Drug Administratio’s delay in approving it for use.
An emergency authorization doesn’t require the same amount of evidence as an official FDA approval. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines against the coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration last week halted an emergency approval of the treatment to allow for more data to be reviewed.
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