FDA Commissioner speaks out on record-high cases

White House Coronavirus Task Force member and FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn joins “GMA” to address the record-breaking new cases and where the FDA is on a COVID-19 vaccine.
5:02 | 07/02/20

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Transcript for FDA Commissioner speaks out on record-high cases
Joining us to talk more about that is fda commissioner and white house coronavirus task force member Dr. Stephen Hahn. Thanks so much for joining us. I want to jump to some of the numbers Matt highlighted. A new record yesterday, more than 50,000 new case, cases increasing in 38 states, positivity rates in 32 states. Hospitalizations in 24. Are we losing this fight? It's good to be here with you this morning. We are seeing rising cases and particularly in the south and the west and what we're doing is we have a plan. We have a plan to actually get more personal protective equipment, testing supplies to those areas that need them the the other thing that's different from earlier in the year is that we have new therapeutic, antiviral, remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone and we also have convalescent plasma which is a new type of treatment that has been used before in infectious disease where you take the antibodies from someone who's recovered from skoedz and give that to someone who's currently had it. Over 28,000 Americans have been treated. It's available and one thing I'd like to say to America is if you recovered from covid-19 please go and donate, visit your local red cross, your local blood bank, it could save a life. You mentioned some of those therapeutic treatments. There's also been talk about a common steroid. Any standing out as having real promise? We have fda supervising -- excuse me -- 141 clinical trials so the pipeline is very robust of potential therapies for but remdesivir is certainly shown to reduce the duration of hospitalizations and sick hospitalized patients and the corticosteroid dexamethasone has been shown to reduce mortality by 30% and have new tools for providers in those hospitals you were talking about this morning on your show. You're a member of the white house coronavirus task force. You've had questions with the president. You've briefed him. He said yesterday in an interview that the virus might, quote, sort of just disappear. Is there any chance of that happening? We have learned a lot about the virus over the last couple of months. We've learned a lot about how it affects people. How it spreads. And so we're continuing to learn. But we will eventually get beyond this pandemic. We have a lot of therapeutic, we have vaccines in the pipeline. I'd like to stress one thing, the president's coronavirus task force guidelines. We need to follow those guidelines, follow your local protocols for screening, frequent hand washing, bring hand sanitizer. Socially distance something really important. If you can't socially distance, wear a mask. Those are commonsense things awe head into the fourth of July weekend that we can do to stop the spread of the covid-19 virus. I want to get to vaccines. We're six months into the crisis around the world. Where do things stand right now on vaccines, the clinical trials and realistically how soon before a vaccine could become available to the general public? Fda has given an authorization to proceed with clinical trials for four separate vaccines and we've seen a number of vaccine developers come forward, double-digit numbers so we have a lot of different, if you will, shots on goal with respect to vaccines. That's good news. And we expect two of these vaccines to go in the late stage of clinical trials which are large clinical trials in this month, July. And so we are on target to reach a vaccine by year's end or early next year so I'm cautiously optimistic. Of course, it depends on the data generated from the trial. Fda's job is to assess the data and the science behind these what comes out of the clinical trials, and we will look at those data and make the best decision we can for the American people on the safety and the efficacy of that vaccine. Dr. Hahn, quickly, I want to get to something Matt Gutman mentioned about pooled testing. Some of your colleagues on the coronavirus task force have talked about this possibility basically testing people in mass numbers to get a better snapshot of what's happening across the country. Does the federal government have a plan to implement this moving forward and what are the So fda has published guidance to laboratories and provided a lot of technical assistance to individual laboratory, academic centers, large labs on how to do this pooling. And that's as you described where you take multiple samples and run them as one test. It saves on test supply, reagents, et cetera, now, laboratories have to do this under special conditions, so that's on our website. We're providing technical assistance and we will continue to do that but it is one strategy and a significant strategy to increase our testing All right, Dr. Stephen Hahn with the fda, thank you so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it. T.J., over to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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