WH Chief Of Staff Says Administration Poised To Announce New COVID-19 Treatments

Chief Scientific Officer Dr Jeff Drew, holds samples of the potential oral vaccine for the COVID-19 illness that are being tested for temperature stability in the Stabilitech laboratory in Burgess Hill south east England, on May 15, 2020. - The scientists at Stabilitech are one of the teams attempting to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Ingested in a capsule into the gut, Stabilitech's potential oral vaccine aims to prompt an immune response in mucosal cells in the respiratory system and elsewhere in the body. The firm believes that will be more effective in tackling respiratory illnesses like coronavirus. The British government is touting the country as a global leader in the big-money investment race to find a vaccine for COVID-19. (Photo by BEN STANSALL / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JOE JACKSON (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that he believes the White House is poised to announce new “therapeutic treatments” that he believes are effective at mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

The announcement could come as early as this week, Meadows told host George Stephanopolous.

Meadows defended the Trump administration’s approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic, denying reports that President Donald Trump has pivoted away from addressing COVID-19, and noting that the White House has been aggressive in courting pharmaceutical companies and other research institutions, pressuring them to come up with drugs, vaccines, and treatments for the China-originated virus.

“The president has been very clear — whatever amount of money and whatever amount of time needs to be invested, we’re doing that,” Meadows said. “We actually took unprecedented steps. Not only did the president shut down travel from China and Europe long before even the medical experts were suggesting we should do so, and then we shut down the economy to try to mitigate the damage.”

In a surprise statement, Meadows added that “We’re hopeful that with some of the breakthrough technology on therapeutics that we’ll be able to announce some new therapies in the coming days.”

Meadows cautioned that there’s no quick solution to the ongoing pandemic, but that the administration is making efforts to slow the spread of the virus and address the fatality rate, which has been declining in recent weeks even as the infection rate has climbed in a number of states.

“We’re not gonna have a solution to this,” Meadows said. “It’s not masks. It’s not shutting down the economy. Hopefully, it is American ingenuity that will allow for therapies and vaccines to ultimately conquer this.”

As of last week, there have been more than 4 million coronavirus infections in the United States and around 150,000 deaths. States like Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona are now leading the nation in coronavirus cases, and many major cities are announcing a return to coronavirus-related shutdowns, in the hopes of again slowing the virus’ spread.

An analysis, released last week, does seem to show that coronavirus infections are peaking following a recent “surge,” according to Business Insider, and while the infection is still spreading, Axios noted Thursday that the number of new coronavirus cases has slowed.

“After weeks of explosive growth, the number of new infections in the U.S. is still climbing — but not quite as fast as it has been,” the outlet said. “New confirmed infections rose by 3% last week in Texas, and by 9% in California. Florida’s caseload did not change. Arizona saw its second consecutive week of improvement.”

The White House also announced, last week, that it would be “funneling almost $2 billion to Pfizer and a smaller German biotechnology company,” per the Hill, as part of “Operation Warp Speed” — an initiative designed to speed the development and approval of a coronavirus vaccine.

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