News·3 min read

Daily Skimm: COVID-19: Remdesivir, the Economy, and Frontline Action Figures

Vials of the drug Remdesivir
Getty Images
Apr 30, 2020


The Story

major study is raising hopes about one drug's ability to fight COVID-19.

Which one?

Remdesivir. Yesterday, early results from a study on more than 1,000 hospitalized patients found that it sped up recovery by an average of four days. It's unclear if the antiviral drug can prevent deaths. Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci compared its potential impact to the first drug to treat HIV. And said the drug will set a new "standard of care" for coronavirus treatment. The FDA hasn't approved it yet. But it's reportedly on track to give the drug an emergency use authorization. And is in talks with its maker – Gilead Sciences – to get it to patients ASAP. But some are hesitant.

Like who?

Like WHO. The World Health Organization erred on the side of caution and declined to comment on the study's results until it gets more info. Meanwhile, a separate study in China found the drug didn't help. But researchers said the trial was stopped early as the outbreak there slowed and they couldn't enroll enough patients. And it's not the first COVID-19 treatment to face some questions.

Go on...

Enter anti-malarial drugs, like hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. President Trump's talked up using the drugs for COVID-19, and asked the FDA to fast-track its testing last month. But there's been debate around its effectiveness and safety, and doctors worry it does more harm than good. Last week, the FDA issued a warning against using these drugs outside of hospitals or clinical trials after reports of death and serious heart problems surfaced.


The race to find a treatment for COVID-19 is on. And some are hopeful about remdesivir. But with countless lives at stake, some are urging caution.AND ALSO...THIS


Who's still got explaining to do…

Former VP Joe Biden. He's facing growing pressure to address a former staffer's sexual assault allegation. Last year, Tara Reade was part of a group of women who accused Biden of inappropriate touching. Last month, she expanded on the allegation, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in the '90s. Biden's campaign called the allegation "false" – but women's rights advocates reportedly want him personally to issue a statement.

  • The latest: This week, two people came forward to corroborate elements of Reade's claims. And an old "Larry King Live" ep resurfaced in which Reade says her mom called in anonymously to discuss the situation.

  • In his corner: Some prominent Dems. That includes several thought to be in the running for Biden's VP pick, like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Stacey Abrams. As Abrams said, "I believe Joe Biden."

What's yelling 'timber'…

The Commerce Dept. Yesterday, it said GDP dropped 4.8% in the first quarter – the steepest drop since the Great Recession. Reminder: GDP is the total value of things made and services provided in a certain time frame. Think of it as a country's economic report card. Until recently, the US was in its longest economic expansion ever recorded. But with stay-at-home orders grinding businesses to a halt, GDP's been struggling. Next quarter could be worse, with some analysts anticipating a 38% drop. If that happens, we're officially in recession territory.

Psst...see what a recession could mean for your wallet – and how you can prep – here.

What's hitting its expiration date...

Federal social distancing guidelines. Back in March, President Trump announced the 30-day guidelines, which included staying home, avoiding nonessential travel and large gatherings, and advising states to close bars and restaurants. They expire today. This comes as many states' stay-at-home orders have recently expired or are set to expire in the coming weeks. Here's what to expect as economies reopen.

What Ross Geller would lose it over...

Spinosaurus. For years, paleontologists have dug into the question of whether this 14,000-pound big boy was able to swim. Now, a new study says 'yup, it's a Schwimmer.' Scientists found a fossilized tail two years ago in Morocco that indicates the dino hunted underwater. Dun dun.

...Oh and just when you think your inner kid couldn't be happier, introducing frontline action figures.

When we could all use a hot girl summer right about now...

Beyoncé has entered the chat.

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