Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Tuesday the Trump administration and the coronavirus task force are together working every day to stop the pandemic. He is confident they are making good progress to that end, including the development of medication to treat the virus that could change the trajectory of its spread in the coming weeks.
“The big message is this will pass,” Carson told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. “We will get through this.”
Before his appointment to HUD, Carson was one of the world’s top neurosurgeons and was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at age 33.
“The task force meets every single day and not only the people on the task force but we all have multiple communications with others throughout the administration, throughout the academic world, the scientific world, utilizing the best information as possible that we can give to the president,” Carson said.
“And I think we’re handling this as well as we possible can,” Carson said, adding that nonetheless the team is always “looking for ways to improve.”
When asked about what role drugs will play in bringing this health emergency under control, Carson said progress is happening at a rapid pace, including more than 100 clinical trials for medication to treat the virus now under way.
“People are really jumping into this with both feet,” Carson said.
Carson said last week a plasma treatment that uses antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus to be infused into people who are ill was approved.
“It gives [patients] a jumpstart on fighting this,” Carson said.
Carson said there is also some promise surfacing in New York City — the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. — using the combination of the drugs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat coronavirus patients.
These are the drugs that President Donald Trump has highlighted as promising during his daily press briefings.
BREAKING: FDA gives emergency approval of Hydroxychloroquine for use on Coronavirus patients.
Wasn’t the MSM claiming Trump lied about this literally days ago?https://t.co/yllZbnW2An
— Alex Marlow (@AlexMarlow) March 30, 2020
Carson said this combination of drugs also showed promise both in China where the virus first emerged and in a French study.
Carson also said in a departure from past practices, while drugs are going through clinical trials patients are being allowed to have access to them.
“I think that’s the wise thing to do because the risk of doing nothing are so high in this particular case,” Carson said.
Carson said drug approval and testing protocol changes could show results in weeks not months.
“We’ll know that very shortly, in the next week or two,” Carson said.
Progress on a vaccine is also taking place as the scientific community steps up its efforts on this front.
Carson was also asked to update Breitbart listeners about masks and testing.
He said people should not wear N95 surgical masks because they should be reserved to protect medical workers who are “on the front lines fighting and risking their lives every day.”
He also said people who are sick should wear the common fabric mask to keep from infecting others, even those who may be in isolation with them who aren’t sick.
Testing is also on the rise, Carson said.
“A lot of progress has been made on the testing and now there are some new tests that are going to be widely disseminated and which you can get the answer in a matter of minutes not days,” Carson said. “That makes a huge difference.”
Despite the very real challenge the country faces, Carson is optimistic the battle against coronavirus will be won.
“The energy that is being put into this is phenomenal and the FDA has been looking at things and very quickly making decisions,” Carson said. “These are the kinds of things that will mitigate this situation.”
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