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Trump Says Politics Could Be Holding Back Covid Plasma Treatment

Aug.19 -- President Donald Trump alleged that U.S. health regulators may be delaying the emergency authorization of blood plasma to treat coronavirus patients until after the election to hurt him politically, offering no substantiation for the charge. The use of plasma drawn from people who have survived Covid-19 as a virus treatment has been embraced by some doctors. While seen as safe, clinical trials haven’t yet proved whether the therapy can help people sickened by the coronavirus. He spoke at the White House.

Video Transcript

- Mr. President, you have been very bullish on the promise of convalescent plasma--

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah.

- --to treat coronavirus. The FDA appeared to be on the brink of issuing an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma. But after hearing from top officials at the NIH that there wasn't enough evidence to go ahead with that, the FDA has put that on pause. Your reaction to that, and do you believe that convalescent plasma should be in the arsenal of treatments for coronavirus?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I hear great things about it, John. That's all I can tell you. And it could be a political decision because you have a lot of people over there that don't want to rush things because they want to-- they want to do it after November 3, and you've heard that one before.

But I've heard fantastic things about convalescent plasma, and I've heard numbers way over 50% success. And people are dying and we should have it approved if it's good, and I'm hearing it's good. I heard from people at the FDA that it's good. So, we'll see. I'm going to check that right after this conference.

- My understanding that the White House will encourage the NIH and the FDA to get this out there as quickly as possible?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, if the numbers are as good as I'm hearing. I mean, I'm hearing over 50%, and that's very good. And we've approved certain things are at 31% and that's OK too. That's not bad, and it's really had a tremendous impact. But, no, I have-- you're telling me something right now that surprises me, but we'll check it out right after this.

- Are you concerned about a delay?

DONALD TRUMP: I don't want delays. I don't want people dying.