President Trump continued to hail an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment as a “cure” for COVID-19, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh in a Friday interview that it sped his recovery from the disease and was “better than a vaccine.”
“I was not in great shape, but we have a medicine that healed me, that fixed me,” Trump said of the antibody “cocktail” manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. ”It’s a great medicine. I recovered immediately.”
Since being released from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, where he was treated for three days after being admitted with a high fever, chills and breathing problems, Trump has often pointed to the antibody therapy he undertook at the hospital as a “cure” for COVID-19. There is no known cure for the disease caused by exposure the coronavirus, and the FDA has not, so far, approved the drug’s use for treating COVID-19.
Just as he had done with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which Trump took in May as a prophylactic against COVID-19, the president didn’t hesitate describing Regeneron’s “cocktail” in the most glowing possible terms.
“We have a cure. More than just a therapeutic, have a cure,” Trump said of the antibody treatment, adding, “This is better than the vaccine.”
Both Regeneron and the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly have released limited studies showing that monoclonal antibody treatments can decrease the viral load of COVID-19 in patients who have not been hospitalized for the disease. Trump’s assertions about the drug have not been proven in any study, and he received other drugs, including Remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, since testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Oct. 1.
On Tuesday, Trump voiced his frustration with the Food and Drug Administration for requiring drug manufacturers to follow safety protocols that will slow the availability of a vaccine until after the Nov. 3 election.
New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job! @SteveFDA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Perhaps the central issue in the presidential election is Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and during his rambling two-hour phone call with Limbaugh, the president again complained about not receiving enough praise for his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
“We’ve done such a good job on the pandemic. We get zero credit,” Trump said.
As of Friday afternoon, at least 7.6 million Americans had tested positive and at least 213,158 had died from COVID-19, far more than in any other country.
On Thursday, the New England Journal of Medicine broke precedent and for the first time in its history published an editorial calling for a president to be voted out of office. The editors disagreed that Trump did “such a good