Donald Trump announces COVID-19 blood plasma treatment

24 August 2020

Written by: Peter White

Donald Trump reveals a potential "major therapeutic breakthrough" as convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment has been approved.

Donald Trump has announced the approval of convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 patients at a press conference on Sunday, labelling it as a “historic breakthrough”.

Trump revealed that American authorities had secured the emergency approval of blood plasma which was retrieved from recovered COVID-19 patients, as deaths have reached over 176,000 in the US.

The plasma is said to be rich in antibody proteins harvested from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients, which can help other patients fight the virus until their immune system generates its own antibodies.

Trump believes this treatment is a promising option as it has supposedly already shown results.

“This is a powerful therapy that transfuses very, very strong antibodies from the blood of recovered patients to help treat patients battling a current infection. It’s had an incredible rate of success,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the emergency use authorisation (EUA) days after Trump accused them of delaying vaccine testing until after the election.

The FDA explained that there are currently more benefits than there are risks in their latest statement.

“This product may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product,” the FDA said.

Although the plasma treatment has already been used on patients in the United States and around the world, health experts are debating its effectiveness and believe it may provide side effects.

Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York told AFP that the plasma has not been effective in clinical trials yet.

“Convalescent plasma probably works — though it still needs to be proven in clinical trials — but not as a rescue treatment for people who are already severely ill,” he said.

Photo: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.