The drugs Trump is receiving 1:47
(WAB NEWS) – If you get sick with covid-19, don’t expect to receive the same treatment as President Donald Trump.
It may seem obvious that the country’s leader received extra attention and the best possible care. But some of the treatment you are receiving is not even available to the general public.RELATED
Trump may have overlooked that fact when he told millions of supporters “Don’t be afraid of COVID.”
“I feel better than 20 years ago!” He tweeted Monday, not to mention that other Americans with the deadly disease do not have access to the drugs and treatment he received.
Before being hospitalized on Friday, Trump received Regeneron’s experimental antibody therapy, which can lower coronavirus levels and has shown promising results in a trial with 275 patients.
But the treatment has yet to receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Biotech company Regeneron said it provided the drug after receiving a “compassionate use” request from Trump’s doctors.
LEE: Regeneron’s antibody cocktail for coronavirus shows promising results
For most people, “getting access to unapproved drugs through a compassionate use application can be a long and challenging process,” said the Mayo Clinic, listing a number of requirements that most patients should meet.
But Trump received therapy on Friday, just one day after he tested positive for COVID-19, according to the White House press secretary and Trump’s doctor.
“Of course, this is the president of the United States who is going to use all the weapons medically, offering him everything there is, whether it is authorized for emergency use or not, in the case of antibody treatment,” said the epidemiologist Dr. Seema Yasmin.
“But there are (almost) 210,000 Americans who have died in recent months because the response to the pandemic has been so bad. And they certainly didn’t have access to this type of treatment.
That’s not the only advantage Trump has compared to the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who have been hospitalized for coronavirus.
Trump may be ‘the only patient on the planet’ to receive these 3 drugs
In addition to the experimental antibody therapy, Trump also received remdesivir and dexamethasone.
“The president might be the only patient on the planet who has received this particular combination of drugs,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University.
Remdesivir has not received FDA approval for the treatment of COVID-19, but has obtained an emergency use authorization from the agency.
Clinical trials have shown that a 5-day remdesivir cycle can speed recovery times in some patients. But the antiviral can also cause side effects like anemia, liver toxicity, and kidney toxicity.
Remdesivir is administered intravenously, so patients are usually hospitalized when they receive the five-day course.
But Trump’s doctors let him go home early Monday night to finish treatment. Unlike the homes of other Americans, Trump has a White House Medical Unit in the house. “Where you’ll be surrounded by world-class healthcare,” said your physician, Dr. Sean Conley.
Trump has also received dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available corticosteroid that can reduce inflammation. But it also suppresses the immune system, so it is generally not recommended for covid-19 patients unless the situation is serious.
Some patients who have benefited from dexamethasone still die less than a month later, Reiner said.
LEE: Trump is taking remdesivir, dexamethasone and more to treat covid-19
‘We know that dexamethasone reduces the risk of mortality. That comes from data from a trial called a recovery trial, ”Reiner said.
‘But to show you what’s at stake: the patients in that trial who got dexamethasone and got a benefit still had a 23% mortality rate at 28 days. So almost a quarter of the patients treated with dexamethasone died within a month, ”Reiner said.
“So the only conclusion that can be drawn from this triple therapy is that the president’s doctors feel he is in grave danger.”
Conley said his patient appeared to be well enough to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Monday night. But she acknowledged that she is concerned about a possible change in Trump’s condition.
“That is why we all remain cautiously optimistic and on our guard. Because we are in uncharted territory when it comes to a patient who received the therapies so early in the course, ”Conley said.
Abundant access to evidence
While many Americans have struggled to get covid-19 tests or results without massive delays, Trump has been “the man who has been tested the most in the United States,” said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh. McEnany.
“He’s done more tests than anyone else, multiple times a day,” McEnany said in July. (Later that day, Trump contradicted his press secretary, saying, “I take, probably on average, one test every two or three days. And I don’t know of any time that I’ve taken two tests in one day. But I could see that this was happening »).
Trump’s abundance of evidence stands in stark contrast to the availability to most Americans. While nationwide testing has increased in recent months, the White House last week announced its plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests that was initially touted in August.
The White House has cited Trump’s frequent testing as a reason he didn’t need to wear a mask in public. But health experts have said that’s faulty logic.
Unlike face masks, the tests do not provide protection against infection. And even if everyone around you gets tested, some test results are actually false negatives.
However, there are advantages to having easy access to frequent tests. After Trump’s top aide, Hope Hicks, fell ill and tested positive last week, Trump was quickly able to get tested. And that could have allowed him to quickly isolate himself and protect others as soon as possible.
LOOK: Trump poses without a mask after returning to the White House
But Dr. Conley has given conflicting reports on when Trump first tested positive.
Conley first reported Saturday that Trump had “only 72 hours left at diagnosis now.” Which means that Trump would have had covid-19 on Wednesday, the day before he traveled to New Jersey for a campaign fundraiser.
Another doctor, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said Trump was treated with an experimental antibody therapy “about 48 hours ago,” which would have been noon on Thursday.
After widespread concerns about that timeline and Trump’s fundraising trip, Conley released a statement saying he meant that Trump was on his third day of illness on Saturday, not that he was diagnosed Wednesday.
McEnany insisted that Trump tested positive for the first time after returning from New Jersey on Thursday.
It is important to note that COVID-19 patients who present with symptoms are usually most contagious before they begin to show symptoms.
McEnany declined to answer questions Sunday about whether Trump was tested Tuesday before his debate with Joe Biden. He also declined to say whether Trump was screened Thursday before his fundraising trip to New Jersey. Conley also declined to say when Trump’s last negative result was.
Emergency medicine doctor Dr. Leana Wen said it’s critical to know about Trump’s recent testing history and when he started to be contagious, especially since other people’s health is also at stake.
“It is important for us to know your condition, and also for contact tracing purposes, to safeguard the health of other people around you… Not just your senior staff, but also the waiters, Secret Service agents, people who attended to their rallies, ”Wen said.
“Those people matter too.”
The lack of details about Trump’s recent tests also means that “we don’t really know what the course of the president’s illness is because we don’t know when he last tested negative,” Wen said.
READ: CNN Poll: Majority of Americans say Trump acted irresponsibly and distrusts information from the White House about his health
“If you really did take daily tests, let’s say you got a negative test on Wednesday and a positive test on Thursday, then we should be alarmed at how quickly the president is progressing, how quickly his symptoms develop,” he said.
“But if you actually had a negative test much earlier, and perhaps a positive test even earlier, then that disease course makes more sense.”
The drugs Trump is receiving 1:47 Despite their advantages, Trump’s battle against covid-19 could be long
Just because Trump was released from the hospital on Monday night doesn’t mean his fight against COVID-19 is over.
Some patients “seem fine initially. In fact, many of these patients can be discharged from hospitals when they are first admitted, “Wen said.
But then they go home and come back because they get worse over time. In reality, the median time, from when someone starts having symptoms until they may need ICU care, if they end up in the intensive care unit, is 10 to 12 days, “he said.
“So we should be relieved that the president is doing well for now, if that’s the case. But we shouldn’t be sighing in relief just yet because there is still time to come.
CNN’s Jen Christensen, Jamie Gumbrecht, Maggie Fox, Shelby Lin Erdman, and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.