Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

FDA Ramping Up Experimental Drugs In Efforts To Treat Coronavirus

Our reporting is free for everyone, but it’s not free to make.
LAist only exists with reader support. If you're in a position to give, your donation powers our reporters and keeps us independent.

President Donald Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing this morning with some updates on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some of the key announcements that were made:

  • Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, said his agency is taking steps to make experimental drugs more accessible and fast-track anti-viral treatments for health care providers and patients.
  • Hahn also said the FDA is looking into "convalescent plasma" as a possible treatment — he emphasized that it is not a proven treatment. Hahn described that as taking blood from someone who was infected by coronavirus but recovered. Antibodies in that virus-free blood could "potentially provide a benefit to patients," he said.
  • FEMA will "take the lead in our national coronavirus response," Vice President Mike Pence said. The response will be managed by states, and "federally supported on testing," he added.
  • "State and private labs are now required by law to report all coronavirus testing directly to the CDC," Pence said.
  • New cases are rising as the testing backlog shrinks, Dr. Deborah Birx said. "Test-positive rates are now in the 10-to-11-percent range," she added.
  • President Trump said the government would be helping small businesses through the economic crisis, along with the airline, cruise ship and "probably" the hotel industries.
  • Dr. Birx reiterated that all Americans should follow federal guidelines and take the threat of spreading the infection seriously. "Even 10 or 15 percent of the population [deciding] that what they're doing today is more important than the health and welfare of the rest of the Americans, they can spread the virus in a very strong way," she said.

You can watch the full press conference below (it starts at 01:01:45).

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:
Your No-Panic Guide To Coronavirus In LA So Far
Your No-Panic Guide: Sanitizer, Toilet Paper, Medicine — When Will Everything Be Back In Stock?
Here's Your Quick, To The Point, Coronavirus Prep List
Have A Question? We Will Answer It