Remdesivir Receives Emergency Approval for Treatment of COVID-19


by Sharon Rondeau

President Trump, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day, and Vice President Mike Pence meet in the Oval Office to discuss the expanding use of Remdesivir for coronavirus, May 1, 2020

(May 1, 2020) — At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Friday, President Trump spoke from the Oval Office about Remdesivir as a promising treatment for coronavirus, introducing Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day to provide details about the drug’s use during the U.S. pandemic.

On Wednesday, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that results of a clinical trial indicated that the drug appears to shorten the length of the illness by “31%.”

Gilead is donating 1.5 million doses of Remdesivir for extended use, Trump said and which O’Day confirmed.

O’Day said that Gilead is collaborating with other companies to develop therapies for the coronavirus.  Clinical trials of Remdesivir began after the virus began to spread, he said, particularly in Louisiana.

Gilead was and remains deeply involved in finding a cure for HIV, O’Day said.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn announced that the FDA has given emergency approval for Remdesivir for use against the virus, also known as COVID-19.  On Thursday Fauci had foreshadowed such a move by the FDA.

The donation to be made Monday will benefit more than 100,000 patients, O’Day said, but that “we need more.”

The meeting ended at 4:21 p.m., at which time Trump said, “We will see you a little later,” perhaps referring to an upcoming press conference titled, “Hard Work, Heroism, and Hope.”

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