Political Editors / April 27, 2020

Questions Abound Regarding Drug Trial

Is there a treatment for COVID on the horizon? And did China try to file for a patent?

As the American death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has surpassed 50,000, one of the primary hopes is for a cure. Gilead, a California pharmaceutical company, is running tests on a drug called remdesivir as a possible treatment, and the trial is reportedly running ahead of schedule. Researchers hope to reach a conclusion by mid-May. In March, the FDA granted an exclusive patent to Gilead.

Consider the source, but CNN reports, “Remdesivir was originally tested by Gilead Sciences as a potential treatment for Ebola, and it showed activity against the novel coronavirus in test tubes. But whether the drug is an effective treatment for Covid-19 remains unclear, and data released thus far have been conflicting and limited.”

Meanwhile, with another “consider the source” warning, there may have been an intriguing turn of events three months ago. According to the UK Daily Mail, “China filed a patent for a drug seen as one of the best potential weapons against coronavirus [January 21] the day after it confirmed human transmission of the disease. The revelation that it moved so fast fuels concerns about a cover-up of the pandemic when it erupted in Wuhan last year, and suggests that China’s understanding of the virus was far advanced from the impression given by its public stance.”

Last week, the World Health Organization “accidentally” published results from a failed clinical trial of remdesivir in China.

So, really, we’re left with little but questions: Will Gilead conclude the drug works? Was China’s patent filing part of its known cover-up? Did the Chinese trial fail intentionally after Gilead won the patent? And can we trust any of the media sources reporting on it?

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