The federal government offered more clarity Saturday on how doses of a COVID-19 drug will be distributed, following widespread confusion this week at hospitals in Massachusetts and around the country.
Under the new plan, six more states were to receive doses of the drug remdesivir, which was approved for emergency use last week. Connecticut was allotted 30 cases of the drug; Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey also were on the list, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response said.Going forward, state departments of health will distribute the doses, the federal health agency said “because state and local health departments have the greatest insight into community-level needs in the COVID-19 response, including appropriate distribution of a treatment in limited supply.”
14,000 People Volunteered to be Infected with Coronavirus
More than 14,000 willing study participants have organized an advocacy group, and 35 members of Congress recently asked regulators to consider human challenge trials. Across the Atlantic, London-based hVIVO and Switzerland-based SGS are working to launch challenge studies, and the World Health Organization recently released a working document outlining criteria for an ethically acceptable design.
The Food and Drug Administration has never allowed a human challenge trial for such a novel disease without a cure, but it isn’t ruling one out.Final decisions would fall largely to the FDA. So far, three U.S. companies — Pfizer, Inovio and Moderna— have reached at least phase one in clinical trials, and the FDA didn’t comment on whether human challenge studies had yet been proposed for down the line in statements to NBC News. But more than a half-dozen experts said they expect the proposals to come.
Long Island Has a Long Way to Go to Reopen
Long Islanders and other downstate residents should not expect any part of the region’s economy to reopen soon, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, a week before the COVID-19 restrictions he imposed are set to expire.This is the case even as the governor touted the success of the state’s policies in pushing back against a confounding enemy.
“We have the beast on the run, there’s no doubt about that. We haven’t killed the beast, but we are ahead of it,” Cuomo said, “… because we have been smart, and because we have been disciplined.”He said there are discussions about allowing a return of some manufacturing and construction upstate, where there are far fewer COVID-19 cases.