The Presidential Treatment
What we know about the treatments President Trump has received for COVID-19.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- Pres. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 late Thursday going into early Friday morning.
- He had some symptoms, incl. a fever.
- Pres. Trump received *some* supplemental oxygen (not a ventilator) when his oxygen levels dropped below 94% (we don’t know how low).
- While we have limited specifics on the President’s condition, the White House named some of his treatments.
- Remdesivir: Rem-des-i-vir.
- An antiviral *previously studied* for other viruses like Ebola and SARS, but never approved for use.
- How it works: Makes it harder for the virus to effectively replicate, slowing the infection.
- One of few therapeutics in extensive clinical trial for COVID-19. The FDA approved for emergency use authorization in May.
“…uncertain clinical importance.”
A recent study highlighted some uncertainty about remdesivir's impact in hospitalized patients receiving a 5-day vs. 10-day dose of the antiviral. While overall evidence of remdesivir is still uncertain, data suggests some benefit to remdesivir in severely ill patients. Patients with non-severe COVID may have small trends in benefit, but at this time, the benefits are not statistically significant.
- Dexamethasone: Dex-a-meth-a-zone.
- Commonly used steroid for any variety of ailments from allergic reactions to bee stings to arthritis to cancer.
- Purpose: Suppresses your immune response.
- Why It’s Used: COVID-19 can cause your immune system to “overreact,” leading to complications that can be challenging to treat.
“…there was no clear effect of dexamethasone among patients who were not receiving any respiratory support…”
Preliminary results for a study on the use of dexamethasone vs. COVID-19 show lower mortality rates BUT no effect for those not on respiratory support, and warns "possible harm" in those cases. Doctors want to calm an over-active immune system but don't want to suppress a *helpful* immune response.
- A therapeutic (REGN-COV2) made by a drugmaker: Regeneron.
- Purpose: “man-made” antibodies boost your immune response to fight the virus – positioned as a treatment for those not in the hospital.
- Experimental trials are small and preliminary. The treatment does not have emergency use authorization but permission for “compassionate use” for those seriously ill.
“We’re just trying to imitate and help an individual, help their immune system win this battle, win this race against the virus.”
Regeneron CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer said the antibody treatment helps the body "get ahead" of the virus, similar to the way a vaccine works to prep the immune system. The early trial included 275 people. The company needs advanced clinical trials for FDA emergency use authorization.
From preliminary information, the President received an antibody cocktail early in his infection, a steroid treatment, and was put on 5 doses of remdesivir. As of Monday night, Pres. Trump left Walter Reed and returned to the White House. We'll update as we get more information.
Antibody Cocktail: More from the Regeneron CEO: WATCH HERE
Remdesivir: Here’s a good read
by Jenna Lee,