Although scientists are racing to develop treatments that will fight the coronavirus, only a handful are considered promising, and all need further study. No drugs have been found to be safe and effective treatments for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by the Food and Drug Administration.
The president declared, “We developed a wide array of effective treatments, including a powerful antibody treatment known as convalescent plasma,” which he claimed “will save thousands and thousands of lives.”
In fact, convalescent plasma has been used by doctors for decades, and with coronavirus patients since the early days of the outbreak. Its effectiveness, however, is still in question and has most likely been exaggerated by the administration, and because it must be made from blood donations from Covid-19 survivors, its availability is expected to be limited.
As for a vaccine, it is impossible to predict when one will become availability with certainty. A few drug makers are far along in testing their vaccines, but the process then includes securing F.D.A. approval, ramping up manufacturing and setting up a distribution system — an awful lot to pack into the next four months.
Paul Mango, an official at the federal Department of Health and Human Services who is helping to lead the vaccine effort, told reporters Friday that while hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine will indeed be manufactured by the end of the year, “what is uncertain is whether or not they will be F.D.A. approved.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Trump sounded an optimistic note, saying that there would be “a vaccine before the end of the year or maybe even sooner.”
The coronavirus pandemic shows little sign of abating in the United States, with nearly six million total cases and an average of 42,000 new daily cases. The campaign of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. noted Friday that at least 3,525 Americans had lost their lives to the coronavirus since the Republican convention began on Monday. (The New York Times counted 4,037.)