Recently, the U.S. White House COVID-19 Response Team and public health officials held a press briefing, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky and Dr. Vivek Murty. The spokesperson shared that the pace of vaccination has picked up across the United States as the infrastructure, product and organization is now in place to execute what is the largest mass vaccination program in U.S. history. The government press conference touted overall excellent results by President Joe Biden, including the fact that over 50% of all adults in America have received at least one vaccine and over 80% of individuals 65 and up have at least one shot. Importantly, seniors accounted for about 80% of COVID-19 deaths and with the widespread vaccination, the government spokesperson shared that the death rates for seniors has declined by 80%. The group considers this a “war time effort” and notes four (4) key areas moving forward, including 1) ongoing mass vaccination, 2) increase effort to make vaccines available, 3) continue education of community, government, and business partners to evangelize the importance of vaccination, and 4) continue to place equity at the core of everything the Biden administration does.
Interestingly, Dr. Fauci updated the world as to the therapeutic research imperative. Highlighting the success thus far—e.g. with one approved treatment (remdesivir) and a number of treatments under emergency use authorization. Fauci highlighted new clinical trials sponsored by the NIH and the ACTIV program, including ACTIV-6 which represents at least seven common therapies, including some over the counter, that can be used for home treatment. Although TrialSite has heard through reliable insiders that ivermectin is on the top of the list for ACTIV-6, interestingly here the government doesn’t touch this; at the press conference, Dr. Fauci mentioned Fluvoxamine and Vitamin D as a couple examples.
Fauci also touched on another trial called ACTIV-2 focused on a polyclonal antibody derived from transgenic cows combined with a therapeutic protocol involving a number of other agents. Finally, he mentioned the study for severely ill COVID-19 patients and RLF-100, which was known to help patients during the height of the pandemic. TrialSite wrote about that study just the other day.
Fauci reports that his group has published a new paper in Med covering the evolving therapeutic landscape for COIVD—19.
Dr. Fauci and Catharine I Paules’, an MD at Penn State, recently published a paper titled “COVID-19 The Therapeutic Landscape,” which highlights more of the strengths while minimizing the failures of the government research apparatus during the pandemic. The duo concluded that the government research agency and pharmaceutical sector have overall made promising progress and have taken home valuable lessons, including 1) that treatments approaches must be based on safety and efficacy data from randomized controlled trials; 2) data shouldn’t be extrapolated from one stage of COVID-19 disease to a different stage; and 3) trials should be designed to generate the most “robust and clinically relevant data possible.”
This, of course, isn’t a learning opportunity but the standard approach to evidence based medicine. The duo downplayed data that repurposed drug proponents point to, including the use of ivermectin and fluvoxamine, declaring that while “We have seen outpatient providers utilize many off-label treatments for COVID-19, such as ivermectin, inhaled corticosteroids, fluvoxamine, colchicine and vitamin D and mineral combinations,” they recommend not using such treatments less “convincing safety and efficacy data” likening the practice to what happened with hydroxychloroquine.
Of course, there are a number of groups around the world that counter the Fauci perspective, declaring that with over 50 clinical trials involving ivermectin, for example, associated meta-analysis reveal compelling data. It depends on who is viewing the data.
The government spokespersons here didn’t delve into the horrific toll of this pandemic, the death, economic dislocation and social and psychological destitution ongoing. The group, although certainly now accelerating positive responses, had many fits and starts, the results of which still manifest in problems today. But they did emphasize significant progress with vaccination efforts occurring now at notable scale. They didn’t credit the previous POTUS for the Operation Warp Speed initiative, which arguably created the conditions to turbo charge vaccine development.
Call to Action: Follow the link to listen to the press release.