WATCH: President Trump & Coronavirus Task Force hold Thursday morning press conference
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force addressed the media from the White House, Thursday, March 19 at 10 a.m.
The Task Force provided an update on the nation's fight against novel coronavirus and the economic repercussions associated with the spread of the illness.
Click on the window below to view the entire press conference.
President Trump opened the press conference by announcing that Amer Fakhoury, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was arrested in his native Lebanon during a family trip in September, has been released.
The President then went on to address the government's plan to fight the spread of novel coronavirus in the U.S.
He said the FDA and private sector are working together to slash red tape so that important medical supplies are readily available to the public.
As experts race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 they're also producing antiviral therapies.
The President says this is what is most important to him. He explained that while vaccines require extensive testing, therapies are less complex to develop and will help people during the very earliest stages of COVID-19.
He explained that this is why clinical trials are already underway for various therapies and he assured the public that he's working to grant Americans access to these kinds of medications/therapies.
The President emphasized that very soon, a list of the most promising therapies will be released to Americans.
The FDA has already approved "Compassionate Use" of drug therapies for a significant number of patients. This means the FDA is reviewing drugs abroad to see if these can be used for American patients.
President Trump also said that the "Right to Try" initiative has already helped many Americans who were seriously ill, and that what he's working on now is beyond "Right to Try."
He said that if certain treatments in Europe Japan and other nations are proving successful, then he will work to ensure that Americans have access to these therapies/drug as well.
He then went on to cite an example of a drug that might help those with COVID-19.
Chloroquine (or Hydrochloroquine), a powerful and trusted drug used to treat malaria patients and patients who suffer from serious forms of arthritis, has shown very positive early results.
President Trump said he will be able to make that drug available almost immediately.
The FDA says it has already approved that drug so that it can be ordered via prescription.
As experts continue to study this drug and it's delivered to large groups of people, other therapies will continue to be tested as well.
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