US President, Donald Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House Monday night October 5, after leaving the military hospital where he was receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19.
He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.
Taking to his Twitter handle on Monday night, Trump told his over 80million followers on the platform ” Do not be afraid of Covid,” and that he feels “better than he did 20 years ago!”
What Donald Trump didn’t tweet was that he’s getting one of the best Covid-19 treatments available.
According to Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, Trump received a combination of three drugs – Regeneron’s experimental antibody therapy, remdesivir and dexamethasone.
Regeneron’s experimental antibody therapy reduces levels of coronavirus and has shown promising results in a trial involving 275 patients but the drug hasn’t received authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to be uses by the general public.
The drug is being produced by the Biotech company Regeneron pharmaceuticals and was given to Trump’s doctors after receiving a “compassionate use” request .
Shares of Regeneron surged 7% Monday October 5, bringing the stock’s year-to-date gain to more than 60% after Trump’s Monday revelation that he will be leaving the hospital.
According to a journal published by Mayo Clinic recently, for most people, “getting access to not-yet-approved drugs through a compassionate use request can be a long and challenging process.”
The process involves meeting a lot of requirements and involves a lot of documentation, which is time consuming and can discourage a sick person’s family from pursuing that course.
According to the White House press secretary, Trump received the drug on Friday one day after he tested positive for COVID-19.
“Of course, this is the President of the USA. He is going to get the kitchen sink thrown at him medically, offered all there is — whether it’s authorized under emergency use or not, in the case of the antibody treatment,”
Famed pidemiologist Dr. Seema Yasmin said in reaction to news of Trump’s treatment;
“But then there are (almost) 210,000 Americans who have died over the past few months because the pandemic response has been so bad. And they certainly didn’t get access to this kind of treatment.”
“The President might be the only patient on the planet ever to receive this particular combination of medicines,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University said to CNN on Monday.
Through out the pandemic Trump has been trying to downplay Covid-19 and even after he, his wife Melania and many of his cabinet members tested positive for the virus last week, he continued to downplay it as he left the Walter Reed Military hospital where he has been undergoing treatment on Monday to the White House, then removed his mask as the press took photographs of him in front of the White House.
Experts say the drug Renegeron, alongside Remdesvir could have it’s side effects and disadvantages.
The antiviral can cause side effects such as anemia, liver toxicity and kidney toxicity.
Remdesivir is administered by injection, so patients are hospitalized when getting the five-day course but Trump’s medical team allowed him go to the White House on Monday evening to finish the treatment.
Trump has an in-house White House Medical Unit, “where he’ll be surrounded by world-class medical care,” his physician Dr. Sean Conley (pictured below) said.
Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that can reduce inflammation was also administered to him.
The drug is usually not used unless the situation is severe meaning Trump’s doctors must have worried for his life to give him the drug.
“Some patients who have benefited from dexamethasone still die less than a month later”, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University said.
“We know that dexamethasone does reduce the risk of mortality. That comes from data from a trial called the Recovery trial,”
“But to show you what the stakes are, the patients in that trial who received dexamethasone and derived a benefit still had a 23% 28-day mortality rate. So almost a quarter of the patients treated with dexamethasone were dead by a month out,” Reiner said.
“So the only conclusion one can make from this triple therapy is that the President’s physicians feel that he’s in grave danger.”
Trump’s Doctor, Conley said the president seemed well enough to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening. But he is still concerned Trump could fall I’ll again.
“That’s why we all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard, because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” Conley said.
Trump’s health put the US election in jeopardy as data shows people within his age range are the most likely to gravely affected by Coronavirus. But he is recovering…..and he is recovering fast.
Trump will battle Joe Biden this November to determine the next White House leader for the next four years.