While patients can and do recover from coronavirus infections, there are currently no approved treatments that are known to work against COVID-19. President Trump believes otherwise. He said at his press briefing yesterday, that two drugs, hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, were “essentially approved for prescribed use” to treat COVID infected patients. He referred to these “approvals” as a “tremendous breakthrough,” and applauded Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and the agency’s scientists for their quick work approving these medications. Commissioner Hahn took to the podium to clarify the president’s message, saying that these drugs are not yet, in fact, known to be safe and effective treatments for coronavirus infections.

Once again, President Trump has misled the American people on the nation’s response to the pandemic. In an ideal world, there would be several drugs in rich supply around the world that could be used immediately and safely to restore health to patients with severe, life-threatening coronavirus infections. However, until scientists interpret reliable data from rigorously designed studies, it is irresponsible and reckless for the country’s leaders to claim that there are medicines available, just waiting to be used.