FDA gives in to Trump pressure, authorizing the use of blood plasma for COVID-19 treatment

trump FDA
President Trump on Sunday described the treatment as “a powerful therapy” made possible “by marshaling the full power of the federal government.”Credit...Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of blood plasma from patients who recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease, a day after President Donald Trump blamed the agency for impeding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons – Aljazeera.

A day before the FDA’s announcement, Trump tagged the agency’s Commissioner Stephen Hahn in a tweet and said,

“The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics.

The agency also said it determined it was a safe approach in an analysis of 20,000 patients who received the treatment. So far, 70,000 patients have been treated using blood plasma, the FDA said.

Patients who benefitted the most from the treatment are those under 80 years old and who were not on a respirator, the agency said. Such patients had a 35 percent better survival rate a month after receiving the treatment.

“The blood plasma treatment has a lot of biological plausibility, but we do not yet know this works because we don’t have randomised control data to show it is definitely beneficial,” he told Al Jazeera.