Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, doesn’t seem to care if he pisses of President Trump by warning that the Coronavirus is on track to becoming a pandemic.
“For all intents and purposes, I think it’s fair to say we are on the cusp of the pandemic. Is it definitely going to happen? No, but there is a significant concern, as of overnight we have cases on six continents.”
While so far the U.S. has only 51 reported cases compared to hotbeds for the virus-like China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, North Korea, and Brazil, U.S. regulators are hopefully taking the needed steps to combat the spread of the outbreak according to Marks during an interview that took place shortly before his keynote presentation at the SVB Leerink Global Conference in New York City.
Marks went on to say during the interview…
“As you heard from the , they’re kind of bracing for what might happen…From our standpoint at the FDA, our goal is to maintain things as orderly as we can and try to maintain adequate amounts of supplies in the supply chain.”
Mark’s comments, CDC statements, and the nose-dive on Wall Street since last Friday are all making President Trump angrier and angrier. On Tuesday, President Trump and his miserable excuse of an economic adviser Larry Kudlow have repeatedly as a problem of concern for people outside of the United States. Trump is increasingly worried that he may be blamed if the virus spreads throughout the United States.
The FDA is preparing for a possible coronavirus epidemic and is hunting for alternative sourcing and manufacturing for key items that would be needed if the crisis emerges here in the United States. They are looking to replace large numbers of medical devices, essential drugs that we’re giving to China in hopes of containing the global health crisis according to Peter Marks…
“We’re dependent, for some of our medical products 90% or more, on imports like syringes, masks, and gowns.”
The large jumps in reported coronavirus cases outside of China have set the world’s health officials into suddenly hunting for the drugs and medical equipment all at once. The dramatic increase in the number of cases being reported outside of China has raised risks for the U.S. and has to lead the CDC to put U.S. health officials on high alert that the global health emergency could become a potential global pandemic. Earlier this morning, Brazil confirmed the first case in Latin America, the count of infections in Italy rose to more than 380 and reports leaking out of North Korea hint at hundreds of cases in the hermit nuclear-armed state.
The coronavirus is threatening to become a global economic nightmare. JP Morgan today revised its estimate for the Chinese economy from growing at 5% to contracting 1%!
The spread of the coronavirus has triggered a discussion of the impact of the coronavirus at the SVB Leerink event. On everything from the shortage of medical supplies that would be needed to the risk of the setting of a banking crisis and global recession.
Cody Meissner, an infectious disease expert, and professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, said during a panel…
“…there are probably more cases in the U.S. than we acknowledge.”
A U.S. flight attendant was diagnosed with the virus that has been traveling for weeks back and forth across the United States. A U.S. serviceman was diagnosed with the virus in South Korea who could have also exposed others that have returned from overseas. The number of companies working on developing a vaccine to combat the coronavirus has dramatically increased. Marks echoed the offered by a senior World Health Organization official who highlighted developments from ’s experimental drug remdesivir at the SVB Leerink event…
“When you have such a large outbreak as you have in China, you can effectively study these things in randomized trials reasonably efficiently… and we may have an answer in the not too distant future about whether there’s an antiviral agent that could work.”
Gilead reported on Monday it is anticipating results from two trials of possible drugs to combat COVID-9 in China in April. Meanwhile, shares of vaccine developer Moderna Inc. have continued to skyrocket on hopes for its vaccine will work. Marks pointed out, however, that it is entirely possible that …
“…this initial wave of coronavirus infections will be over before there is an effective vaccine.”