Tonight’s White House press conference is expected to be about an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
Last week, President Trump accused some health officials of playing politics regarding the EUA for convalescent plasma. When asked about the US Food and Drug Administration not having granted a EUA, Trump said it was political.
Today, one of the sources who is close to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said the FDA has reviewed additional data to inform its impending EUA decision. This official has not personally reviewed the data. The source said the FDA is under no obligation to consult anyone outside the agency about its decision.
The science: Convalescent plasma is created from the blood of people who have recovered from Covid-19, and it has shown success in two other deadly coronaviruses: MERS and SARS. It has also been used to treat the flu and Ebola.
Emergency use authorization from the FDA does not require the same level of evidence as full FDA approval.
At the end of March, the FDA created a pathway for scientists to try convalescent plasma with patients and study its impact. Physicians have been using the treatment since. So far, more than 60,000 people in the United States have been treated with convalescent plasma.