The New York Times gave some coverage to the failure to focus on COVID-19 treatments in comparison to the resources and priority put on vaccines:
Vaccine development exceeded everyone’s expectations. But the next few months will still bring many sick people — and doctors have woefully few drugs with which to treat them.
It is great to see some mainstream media focus on this topic. While the article is generally good, alas it still misses the most important plot line:
- there is and has been an effective treatment for COVID-19 available for months: antibodies!
It seems now there will be a new focus – but on anti-virals. These are great, but are still at the laboratory stage and cannot possibly be brought into the battle until 2022. Meanwhile, both monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma have been proven to be effective if given early after infection. All we need to do is:
- Scale production and distribution;
- increase testing so that we can identify infections early – before symptoms start;
- communicate to the public – so that people who are at risk know what to do;
- establish rapid response protocols so that they can take action together with their healthcare provider to protect themselves from severe disease or death.
Step #2 is now being addressed, but Step #1 ignored where it matters: at the national level. Then Steps #3 and #4 are suppressed because of the lack of supply.