(Headline USA) President Donald Trump credited an experimental drug treatment with helping his recovery from COVID-19 and suggested his diagnosis could be a “blessing in disguise” in the nation’s battle against the pandemic.
In a new White House video posted Wednesday evening, Trump said his illness had shed light on an experimental antibody cocktail that he tied to his improved condition. He promised to swiftly get the drug approved for broader use — and distribute it for free — even though he does not have the power to order that himself.
“I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great,” Trump said in a video from the Rose Garden. “I feel, like, perfect.”
Still, questions continue to swirl about the trajectory of Trump’s recovery and when he might be able to return to normal activities, including campaigning, less than four weeks before Election Day. The video marked Trump’s first appearance before a camera — albeit a White House-operated one —in nearly two days.
Trump received an experimental antiviral cocktail made by Regeneron through a “compassionate use” exemption. The safety and effectiveness of the drug have not yet been proven. Most people recover from COVID-19.
Trump hailed the Regeneron cocktail even as drugmaker Eli Lilly moves forward with its own similar treatment, which the president also referred to on the video.
Eli Lilly formally asked the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to allow emergency use of its experimental antibody based on early results suggesting it reduces symptoms. There is no timetable for the FDA to make a decision, though the agency has moved on such applications within weeks.
Lilly says it could supply as many as 1 million doses of its therapy in the final quarter of 2020, with 100,000 available in October. Regeneron confirms it has also applied for emergency authorization, and said Wednesday it has enough doses for approximately 50,000 patients, and expects 300,000 available within the next few months.
The company said this advance production would allow the treatment to be distributed “immediately” if it were authorized by the FDA.
In the video, Trump promised those who are ill that they’re going to “get better fast, just like I did.”
Trump posted the video on Twitter not long after aides said he had spent time in the Oval Office for briefings on Hurricane Delta, which is bearing down on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and on economic stimulus prospects.
Aides said that only limited staff were around him and that he entered the office from the outside to limit exposure.
Trump spent much of his day on Twitter, throwing broadsides against Democrats and pushing lawmakers to take up piecemeal economic aid proposals after nixing negotiations on a broader assistance package.
Trump’s doctor reported that the president continued to make progress in his recovery.
Regeneron says it’s not possible for this type of blood test to distinguish between antibodies Trump’s body may be making and those supplied by the company’s drug. Most likely, the ones detected in the Monday test are from the drug, the company said.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.