U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the 2020 Council for National Policy Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.
Tasos Katopodis | UPI | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump on Sunday will announce the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for Covid-19, according to the Washington Post and other reports.
The president will make the announcement at a press briefing on Sunday evening. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the 5:30 pm briefing will involve “a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China virus.”
Convalescent plasma use blood from Covid-19 patients that have recovered and built antibodies against the virus and infuses it into people with Covid-19 to prevent severe disease, according to the Mayo Clinic, which is conducting studies on the treatment.
Several top 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 data on the country’s largest blood plasma study. Their concerns that the data was too weak prompted the Food and Drug Administration to put a hold on granting emergency use for the blood treatment.
Clinical trials have not proven whether plasma can help patients battle the coronavirus. An emergency authorization doesn’t require the same amount of evidence as FDA approval. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines against the coronavirus.
Trump reacted angrily to the FDA’s decision to hold emergency authorization until more data is reviewed, saying last week that the decision may be politically motivated.
“I hear great things about it … that’s all I can tell you,” Trump said during a White House press briefing referring to convalescent plasma therapy. “It could be a political decision because you have a lot of people over there who don’t want to rush things because they want to do it after November 3, and you’ve heard that one before.”
Trump has claimed without evidence that the convalescent plasma has helped more than 50% of coronavirus patients that received the treatment.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.