At a press conference on Sunday evening President Donald Trump announced that the Food and Drink Administration (FDA) has given its approval for the use of high antibody plasma from recovered Covid19 patients to treat those currently diagnosed.
That followed a Presidential tweet on Saturday in which Trump accused the “deep state or whoever at the FDA” of impeding testing and that some Obama holdovers were delaying progress in tackling the virus until after the election.
The treatment involves the transfusion of plasma high in antibodies from recovered Covid patients to those to whom it can be safely administered. They include all patients under the age of 80 who are not on a respirator.
While RTE in its report inserted an unattributed claim that “some have warned that it could carry side effects,” FDA Director of Biologics Peter Marks has stated that “the product is safe.”
The plasma treatment has been given to 20,000 patients who have not only shown none of the RTÉ Science Department’s side effects, but who have proven to have a 35% higher recovery rate than those who have not been given the plasma.
While the plasma is safe and effective, it is dependent on its being administered within three days of a positive test, and on the voluntary donation of plasma by recovered patients.
There appears to be a high degree of confidence in the treatment and there are also hints that the administration might approve the use of a vaccine that has been developed at Oxford University and which also appears to carry a high degree of confidence although final clearance for safe use was not expected for several more months.
If all of these measures come into effect, and as the daily number of cases in the United States appears to be on a downward trajectory, they might prove to be a game changer with regards to the election on November 3.
The election is turning into possibly the most divisive and nasty confrontations of all. The battle lines are clearly drawn and the partisans on either side will unlikely be persuaded to move. Both candidates are fighting for the crucial undecideds and it may well be progress in turning the virus tide that makes many of their minds up.
While the White House references to the “deep state” might appear to be the stuff of political fiction, there is no doubt that Trump’s opponents will use any means to defeat him.
To borrow from the old Stalin apologist Pete Seeger, the issue will indeed be “Which side are you on.?”