A Brief Reading List for Understanding Trump’s Covid-19 Treatment Regimen

Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog
2 min readOct 2, 2020

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Credit: CHRISTOPH BURGSTEDT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

On Friday the White House shared that President Donald Trump received a “polyclonal” (monoclonal) antibody cocktail from the biotech company Regeneron, and that he has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.

Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is considered a promising potential treatment, though it is still under study and not yet approved. Monoclonal antibodies are drugs that contain specialized proteins that are intended to stop SARS-CoV-2 from infecting healthy cells. Regeneron’s cocktail includes a monoclonal antibody that targets the spike protein that the virus uses to get into healthy cells, and another antibody that targets a different part of the virus.

Celine Gounder, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at NYU Langone says that the antibody cocktail might make sense for the scenario that Trump is in, where the infection is early and the symptoms are not yet severe. “This is a scenario in which convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies, as well as remdesivir, the antiviral drug, are most likely to be useful,” says Gounder. “Because of their mechanism of action, those are going to be most useful in aborting an early infection. Once you have damage to the body, there’s really little utility in using those treatments know.”

Even so, the therapies are still under investigation and some open questions remain. Here’s two recommended articles about the therapy:

There’s debate over the value of supplements like vitamin D and zinc for Covid-19 severity. While some of the evidence is compelling, most of the studies published so far are considered small and pretty weak. Here are a few in-depth pieces.

With reporting from Dana Smith.

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Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog

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