By VOA News
The top infectious diseases expert in the United States said Thursday he expects quick government approval of the drug remdesivir for emergency use in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
In an interview on the NBC “Today” show, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he spoke with the chief of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who confirmed the agency was “moving along very quickly” to approve the drug.
Fauci was optimistic about remdesivir after it proved effective against the coronavirus in a government study.
But he stressed again that the drug is not “the answer by any means” to stop the pandemic, but “an important first step” in finding effective treatments, which could still have a strong effect on controlling the outbreak.
Fauci recommended caution on reopening the economy, saying that as COVID-19-related restrictions are pulled back, it is very likely new cases will show up. If that happens, he said, it is important that officials have in place the capability of identifying those cases, isolating them, and tracing those with whom those cases have been in contact.
If they do that, he said, he is cautiously optimistic.
COVID-19 has killed more than 220,000 people worldwide, including 61,000 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.