President Donald Trump touted treatments received during his bout with COVID-19 as a “cure,” but even the Regeneron CEO, a donor to Democrats, rejected that narrative Sunday.
“So the president’s case is a case of one, and that’s what we call a case report, and it is evidence of what’s happening, but it’s kind of the weakest evidence that you can get,” Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Although, there are some very interesting aspects of his case, such as he was elderly, he had some risk factors, and that he did not have his own immune system in gear when he was sick and he got treated with our immune system in a vial, if you will.”
Schleifer told host Margaret Brennan the truest tests for Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail will come from large clinical trials.
“The real evidence has to come about how good a drug is and what it will do on average has to come from these large clinical trials, these randomized clinical trials, which are the gold standard,” he added. “And those are ongoing. We’ve got some preliminary evidence that we’ve talked with the FDA, and we’re going for an emergency use authorization, because we think it’s appropriate at this time. But yes, the president’s case is a case report, perhaps the most analyzed case report ever, but it’s just low down on the evidence scale that we really need.”
Trump, excited about his own recovery despite election-cycle charges his administration has been a failure in responding to the pandemic, had vowed to make Regeneron’s antibody treatment free to Americans fighting COVID-19.
Schleifer’s dismissal of hope comes amid his long history of giving to Democrats. Schleifer is a billionaire who has known Trump for years and belongs to the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in New York, but he gave $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run and $120,000 in 2018 to a political action committee attempting to flip the Senate to Democratic control, Kaiser Health News (KHN) reported.
Schleifer has made no registered political donations after his son, Adam Schleifer, lost a Democrat primary for Congress this summer.
Trump has rebuked a large Democrat donor wave to big pharma as he has attempted to lower drug prices, having called big pharma ads for Democrats as “lies.”
The U.S. government has given Regeneron $450 million to make and supply the antibody cocktail thus far, KHN reported.
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