Blood plasma from three Singaporeans who recovered from COVID-19 was used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump after he shocked the world by announcing he was infected with a disease he’d played down all year.
Trump was treated with antibodies obtained from plasma supplied by Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases while being treated at the Walter Reed Medical Center before he left Monday night, eastern U.S. time. It was unclear whether his infected wife, First Lady Melania Trump, received the same treatment.
The report said that Trump received a “high dose” of an “antibody cocktail” developed by American biotech firm Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. One of the antibodies was developed using blood samples from three recovered patients in Singapore. The drug is not approved and was provided on a “compassionate use” exemption.
Antibodies are created by the immune system to fight off infection and can be be used to help other patients recover.
Trump delivered the latest world-rattling upset of 2020 by announcing he had been infected by a disease he had long dismissed as nothing worse than the flu. He was taken to Walter Reed, where doctors misrepresented his condition until he left three days later after receiving the antibodies, steroids and other treatments. He took to Twitter to say that he felt “better than twenty years ago” and told the public “not to worry” about COVID. His physician said yesterday Trump was not “out of the woods yet” and would continue treatment at the White House.
Melania tweeted Monday that she was feeling well and resting at home.
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The U.S. FDA sought help from Regeneron after having difficulties obtaining enough blood from recovered COVID-19 volunteers. The plasma was supplied through an agreement with Singapore’s infectious disease center.
The center has been developing a vaccine for the virus. In April, 11 recovered COVID-19 patients were recruited to donate blood used in convalescent plasma therapy to treat others infected. The team is still conducting research and trials.
As of yesterday, Singapore had officially counted 57,830 infections and 27 deaths since January. Of those, 57,612 have recovered.
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