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Bet Big on Treatments for Coronavirus

Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
 

By Scott Gottlieb (original source Wall Street Journal)

“Some imagine that the coronavirus will run its tragic course in the spring, with the direst results avoided by intense social-distancing and other mitigation efforts, and then our lives can more or less return to normal in the summer.

But that isn’t realistic. Even if new cases start to stall in the summer heat, the virus will return in the fall, and so will fresh risk of large outbreaks and even a new epidemic. People will still be reluctant to crowd into stores, restaurants or arenas. Schools may remain closed. The public’s fears won’t relent simply because there are fewer new cases. We’ll be running an 80% economy.

The only way out is with technology. Aggressive surveillance and screening can help warn of new infection clusters that could turn into outbreaks, but that won’t be enough. A vaccine could beat the virus, but there won’t be one this year. The best near-term hope: an effective therapeutic drug. That would be transformative, and it’s plausible as soon as this summer. But the process will have to move faster.”

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