Early trial results for remdesivir show promise

The drug originally tested for Ebola may be effective against COVID-19, but the research now needs to be peer-reviewed.
6:17 | 04/30/20

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Transcript for Early trial results for remdesivir show promise
It's great to have with us on this Wednesday night. We begin with perhaps a real weapon in the battle against covid-19. The new findings from the nih on remdesivir, showing promise and speeding up recovery. Dr. Fauci calling the results highly significant. And saying it will set a new standard of care. It doesn't prevent it, but shows the potential for real promise in treating it. And a sobering new milestone, more than 60,000 Americans now dead, 2,000 more than yesterday. Dr. Fauci optimistic about remdesivir, but saying more testing needs to be done. The fda promising to fast-track it into use. 11 states lifting restrictions, 7 more to follow by the end of the week. Amid concerns about any second wave of the virus. In Brooklyn, that image coming in from a funeral home, overwhelmed. Authorities finding bodies overflowing inside. Massachusetts and Illinois, in the middle of the surge. An emt crew answering calls in Illinois. And we want to know about the workers in states with orders lifted, will they still be eligible for benefits, or will they have to go back to work? We'll have answers on all of this. We begin with Tom llamas in new York. Reporter: Tonight, fresh hope in the fight against coronavirus. The country's top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, announcing at the white house early trial results of the drug treatment remdesivir shows promise. The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery. This is really quite important. It's highly significant. Reporter: The drug originally tested for ebola. Now showing in an nih study it may be effective against covid-19. What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus. Certainly it's a positive, it's a very positive event. Reporter: The research now needs to be peer reviewed. For weeks we've heard from patients who have recovered from the virus after using remdesivir. Covid-19 put 55-year-old father Chris Kane in the hospital with a high fever. He was put on oxygen. That's when he was put on the drug. I was feeling pretty bad so I said, sure, let's give it a shot. Reporter: Can you remember the moment the medication kicked in? I woke up in the morning and I could breathe and it'd still hurt. But, you know, it had dropped off quite a bit. It was literally two days later when all of a sudden I went, wow, I'm feeling better. Reporter: Kane says in his case he felt no side effects. The drug will now be offered to all patients. Whenever you have clear-cut evidence that a drug works, you have an ethical obligation to immediately let the people who are in the placebo group know, so that they can have access. And all of the other trials that are taking place now have a new standard of care. Reporter: And in the race towards a vaccine, pharma giant pfizer announcing their vaccine could be tested as early as next week and available for emergency use in the fall. Effective vaccine and treatments could not come soon enough. The death toll topping 60,000, more American lives lost than in the Vietnam war. And the CDC now says the number of deaths in seven states hard hit by the virus is 9,000 higher than earlier reported. It could be another year or more before we get really final hard numbers. Reporter: States now figuring out how to safely reopen. 11 states have already eased restrictions. Seven more states will by the end of the week. And tonight in New York, a grim reminder of the devastating toll. The streets around this Brooklyn funeral home closed after neighbors complained about a stench from bodies stored in trailers. The funeral director saying they have run out of space. This as city officials are urging residents to practice social distancing after crowds gathered to watch a blue angels and thunderbirds flyover. Overnight, mourners packing the streets of Brooklyn for an orthodox jewish funeral. The mayor warning they could make arrests. We have to understand what it means to hold a large gathering in New York City today. It means unfortunately that people that go to that gathering, some will be sick with this disease. That's just a fact. Reporter: Every day 1,000 new yorkers are still pouring into hospitals. We don't want to see 1,000 new cases every day. We would like to see that in the low hundreds. Reporter: Still, weary doctors and nurses celebrating every victory against this disease. I am a coronavirus survivor. And thanks for everybody who saved my life. And I'm going home today. Reporter: 75-year-old Sonia atieh was put on a ventilator at mt. Sinai queens. She came to us initially with shortness of breath. She could barely breathe. Reporter: On her granddaughter's sixth birthday, after two weeks, Sonia wheeled out of that hospital to cheers. Able to head home to reunite with her family. We love that image. Tom, with these promising early results for remdesivir, I can only imagine folks are wondering how easily they'll be able to get it if they need it. Reporter: David, on the heels of that announcement, the makers of the drug say they expect to meet and exceed their production goals. We're talking about more than 100,000 medical treatment courses by may. More than 500,000 by October. Experts say those are very good numbers, and a patient says he received the drug via an IV every day. He said it was like his morning coffee. Tom, thank you. Also, that other new number tonight.

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