A Glimmer of Hope This Morning on Treating the Virus
Author: Greg Valliere
May 14, 2020
AMID ALL THE GLOOM — the downside economic risks cited by Jerome Powell, the intensifying rift between Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, the virus “hot spots” in rural America — comes a glimmer of hope on the front lines, as emergency room physicians piece together a cocktail that seems to reduce Covid-19 fatalities.
THIS MORNING’S WASHINGTON POST cites some cautious optimism from doctors who have developed a “toolbox” of drugs and therapies that many believe “give today’s patients a better shot at survival than those who came in only a few weeks before,” the Post reports.
MOST OF THESE TACTICS are still in the experimental stage, but on the front lines there’s guarded optimism. The Post article, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, reports that key components of the emergency treatment include:
Blood plasma of covid-19 survivors, “a rich source of antibodies that may help
neutralize the virus”;
Drugs to suppress the body’s own immune response, which some believe goes into
hyperdrive as it tries to fight an invader;
Anticoagulants, which decrease the risk of deadly clots;
Antivirals such as remdesivir, the Gilead drug that recently won approval from the FDA for emergency use.
ANOTHER ENCOURAGING SIGN comes from the World Health Organization, which reported on Tuesday that it sees “potentially positive data” in four or five coronavirus treatments. “We have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness,” a spokeswoman said.
THERE ARE MANY MORE DETAILS in this extraordinary article, all leading us to hope that many small discoveries, made through trial and error, are coming together to reduce fatalities. Obviously, clinical trials are needed, some therapies are useless, and a vaccine seems to be many many months away.
BUT WE’LL TAKE ANY GOOD NEWS WE CAN GET as Congress gridlocks on aid and the markets realize how choppy and halting the recovery will be.
THE KEY, QUITE CLEARLY, will be on the medical front. During a pandemic like this one, the Post article says, “months have been compressed into days, decades into weeks. The knowledge accumulated during the past couple of months was due not to a single ‘eureka’ moment but rather a steady stream of small discoveries.”
WARP SPEED ON THE FRONT LINES: The article quotes a physician who said “things have changed almost completely, from knowing nothing at all and going on hearsay from Milan, Seoul and Wuhan — to saying, ‘Well, this is something we know we can do.'” The ER doctor said “it’s a different world today compared to just a few months ago.”
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