Trump to announce plasma therapy for COVID-19

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Many scientists and physicians believe that convalescent plasma might provide some benefit but it is far from a breakthrough.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — After expressing frustration at the slow pace of approval for coronavirus treatments, President Donald Trump was set to announce on Sunday the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients.

The announcement will come after days of White House officials suggesting there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump’s reelection chances.

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump was set to issue the emergency order — which would make it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment — in a news conference Sunday evening, according to White House officials.

The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling with the disease. But the evidence has been inconclusive as to how it works or how best to administer it.

Many scientists and physicians believe that convalescent plasma might provide some benefit but it is far from a breakthrough. It is rich in antibodies that could be helpful in fighting the coronavirus, but the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what dose is needed.

The White House had grown agitated with the pace of the plasma approval, but the accusations of a slowdown, which were presented without evidence, were just the latest assault from Trump’s team on the so-called “deep state” bureaucracy. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did not deal in specifics, 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.”

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“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.”


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