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Remdesivir study raises more questions about Trump's COVID treatment while hospitalized

Remdesivir study raises more questions about Trump's COVID treatment while hospitalized
Photo via the White House.

President Donald Trump and his White House physicians have credited his rapid COVID recovery to Remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies, and dexamethasone, but a new study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) raises questions about the effectiveness of Remdesivir.

WHO released a statement on Thursday, detailing its latest findings on the antiviral drug Remdesivir. According to a study sponsored by the public health agency, Remdesivir "as little or no effect on mortality for patients hospitalized with COVID-19," reports The Hill.

"Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients," the WHO said in a statement.

Trump once touted hydroxychloroquine as a potentially game-changing treatment for COVID-19 and even took it prior to his infection on dubious claims that it could serve a prophylactic function. But notably, it was not a part of his course of treatment with the disease.

WHO's Solidarity Therapeutics Trial focused on the effects of Remdesivir and three other potential drug regimens that have been used to treat COVID. The results, released on Wednesday, was based on 11,266 patients adults suffering with COVID-19 who were given Remdesivir. Those patients were housed in 405 hospitals in 30 countries. Despite the president touting the drug, the study determined that none of the drugs, or any combination of the drugs decreased patient mortality.

The study found that the drugs also failed to reduce the need for a ventilator or serve as a means of shortening recovery time. However, Gilead Sciences challenged the WHO's findings with a statement of its own.

According to the makers of Remdesivir, the WHO's results "appear inconsistent with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of Veklury [remdesivir]."

"The benefits of Veklury [remdesivir] have been demonstrated in three randomized, controlled clinical trials, including a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial -- the gold standard for evaluating the efficacy and safety of investigational drugs," Gilead Sciences said in a statement.

The latest news comes months after the Trump administration's promoting of Remdesivir. In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the drug. Then in August, the FDA broadened the emergency authorization of the drug to include treatment for all patients hospitalized with COVID.

As of Friday, October 16, 2020, the United States has reported more than 8.2 million coronavirus cases, nationwide. As the number of COVID cases and deaths continue to rise, there is growing concern that the U.S. could be entering its second wave of coronavirus.

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