President Trump continued to hail an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment as a “cure” for COVID-19, telling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh in a Friday interview that it sped his recovery from the disease and was “better than a vaccine.”
“I was not in great shape, but we have a medicine that healed me, that fixed me,” Trump said of the antibody “cocktail” manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. “It’s a great medicine. I recovered immediately.”
Since being released on Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for three days after being admitted with a high fever, chills and breathing problems, Trump has often pointed to the antibody therapy he undertook at the hospital as a “cure” for COVID-19. There is no known cure for the disease caused by exposure to the coronavirus, and the FDA has not, so far, approved the drug’s use for treating COVID-19.
Just as he had done with the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which he took in May as a prophylactic against COVID-19, the president didn’t hesitate describing Regeneron’s “cocktail” in the most glowing possible terms.
“We have a cure. More than just a therapeutic, have a cure,” Trump said of the antibody treatment, adding, “This is better than a vaccine.”
Both Regeneron and the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly have released limited studies showing that monoclonal antibody treatments can decrease the viral load of COVID-19 in patients who have not been hospitalized for the disease. Trump’s assertions about the drug have not been proved in any study, and he received other drugs, including remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, since testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Oct. 1.
On Tuesday, Trump voiced his frustration with the Food and Drug Administration for requiring drug manufacturers to follow safety protocols that will slow the availability of a vaccine until after the Nov. 3 election.
Perhaps the central issue in the presidential election is Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and during his rambling two-hour phone call with Limbaugh, the president again complained about not receiving enough praise for his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
“We’ve done such a good job on the pandemic. We get zero credit,” Trump said.