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Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told “The Story” Wednesday efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus appear to be having an effect.
“The big picture here, I think is, as we’ve heard from the coronavirus task force, is that mitigation is working. I think that’s our number one offense and defense against this virus. And it’s really gratifying to see some encouraging results from mitigation,” said Hahn, highlightning declines in the number of new cases. “I think the other thing that we will dig into as more and more data and information comes to us is, ‘What are the effects of the incredible work by our providers and the care that’s provided in our hospitals?'”
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MacCallum asked Hahn about tests for COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, which some experts say can help lift restrictions on economic activity earlier than expected.
“What we’re looking at is really trying to identify those tests that will best serve our needs over the next couple of weeks to months,” Hahn said. “That will give us the best information we can have about this natural immunity and then ramping up that production. And we’ve gotten a great response from industry. And we’ll know more about that in the next couple of weeks.”
“We need to have those tests for months,” he added. “So the ramp-up really needs to be significant over the summer and fall months as well.”
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Hahn also said that any results of clinical studies of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine are months away, but added that the drug is available to physicians who wish to use it.
“I want to emphasize that although clinical trials are really the best and first choice for generating evidence, this drug is available for doctors to prescribe if they think it’s appropriate for their patients,” Hahn said. “That’s an individual doctor patient decision.”
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