Doctor calls promising new drug remdesivir 'ray of hope' for COVID-19 workers on front-lines

Dr. Simone WIldes said she's "excited" about the drug's preliminary results.

April 30, 2020, 2:53 PM

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Simone Wildes shared her excitement on "The View" Thursday after a recent clinical trial showed promising early results for using the drug remdesivir against the coronavirus, calling it a "step in the right direction."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, announced the results of the experimental antiviral drug trial on Wednesday. Preliminary results from the randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 1,063 hospitalized patients showed that 31% of the patients who received remdesivir had a faster recovery time than those who received a placebo. The remdesivir group also saw an 8% mortality rate compared to an 11.6% mortality rate among the group on placebo.

"What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus," Fauci said Wednesday, calling the development "very optimistic."

On "The View" Thursday morning, Wildes, of South Short Health in Massachusetts, concurred with Fauci's outlook.

"I'm excited," Wildes said. "We have been working on the frontlines with a lot of different experimental drugs."

PHOTO: Infectious disease specialist Dr. Simone Wildes discusses the coronavirus pandemic during her appearance on "The View" Thursday, April 30, 2020.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Simone Wildes discusses the coronavirus pandemic during her appearance on "The View" Thursday, April 30, 2020.

With the trial suggesting the drug might shorten the duration of symptoms, Wildes noted that even "a day makes a difference" when it comes to combating the new virus.

"We know more studies need to be done, but I think it's definitely a step in the right direction, and any ray of hope is hopeful for all of us on the frontlines," Wildes said.

Testing for the coronavirus is considered a crucial step to reopening the country. But on Tuesday, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent letters to four companies that manufacture and distribute antibody tests to question their accuracy after preliminary results from a study of more than a dozen tests found that many were less sensitive than advertised, therefore posing a risk of false negatives or positives.

Wildes agrees that the antibody tests "have really not been very reliable" and that there's still "a lot of work that needs to be done to validate these tests."

"In general, when you have antibodies you do have immunity," Wildes said. "The question is how long does it last? There's still some unknown questions, especially with COVID-19 because it's a new virus."

As states like Vermont, Texas and Georgia begin to reopen, Wildes said she opposes states lifting restrictions on public activity right now as there aren't enough tests to prevent a resurgence of the virus.

"It's too early to open the states," Wildes said. "We are not at full capacity for testing. We've also not implemented enough steps to do the contact tracing and isolating the individuals that have the disease."

"There's still a number of things that have not been done," she continued, "and so, early opening right now is going to be a little bit premature."

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