Trump announces plasma treatment authorised for Covid-19
Washington, Aug 24 (AP): President Donald Trump on Sunday announced emergency authorisation to treat Covid-19 patients with convalescent plasma a move he called a breakthrough, one of his top health officials called promising and other health experts said needs more study before it’s celebrated.
The announcement came after White House officials complained 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 re-election chances.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump put himself at the center of the FDA’s announcement of the authorisation at a news conference Sunday evening. The authorisation makes it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment but is not the same as full FDA approval.
The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling the disease. But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what does is needed.
In a letter describing the emergency authorisation, the chief scientist for the FDA, Denise Hinton, said: Covid-19 convalescent plasma should not be considered a new standard of care for the treatment of patients with Covid-19. Additional data will be forthcoming from other analyses and ongoing, well-controlled clinical trials in the coming months.
But Trump had made clear to aides that he was eager to showcase good news in the battle against the virus, and the timing allowed him to head into his convention with momentum.
He and aides billed it as a major” development and used the White House briefing room to make the announcement.