President Trump just announced on Sunday afternoon that the FDA has issued official emergency authorization for a breakthrough COVID-19 treatment that’s being touted as a game-changer.
Speaking to the press during his daily coronavirus briefing, Trump revealed that 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, explaining that the emergency use designation 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 continued, urging Americans that have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma for the treatment.
The convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 isn’t a new concept, as the treatment has been used experimentally since the early days of the pandemic. Fox News reports that “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.”
Anti-Trump media pundits are already working overtime to undermine the efficacy of the newly-authorized treatment, however. CNN commentator Jake Tapper led the attack by tweeting just minutes after the announcement:
So what just happened and why? Among those skeptical there’s enough data to justify emergency authorization of plasma for COVID-19: Dr. Francis Collins of National Institutes of Health; Dr. Tony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane of National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases.
These experts have said they don’t think the biggest study yet of this treatment, from Mayo Clinic, was sufficient. They want more data. Two major studies are currently being conducted.
There’s disappointment being expressed among health experts by what happened today, especially in [FDA commissioner Steven Hahn], who for the second time (the first being with hydroxychloroquine) has seemed to them to bend to political pressure rather than following scientific protocol.
It’s worth noting that CNN had absolutely nothing but good things to say in March when Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would conduct clinical trials of the treatment, touting doctors that claimed plasma treatments for COVID-19 were a “big step” forward.