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Have scientists already found a coronavirus treatment?

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tracy Taylor breaks down the advances that scientists have made with remdesivir, which the FDA could be approving soon for coronavirus treatment.

“You do now have a drug that you have proven can actually work on the virus,” the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Associated Press.

“Will it be an overwhelming cure? No, of course not,” Fauci said. But with its use, “you will free up hospital beds, you will take less stress on the health care system.”

No treatment currently is approved for treating the virus, which has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide since it emerged late last year.

The drug is not yet approved anywhere in the world for any use. The FDA could make it immediately available through an “emergency use authorization,” which speeds experimental drugs, tests and other medical products to patients during public health crises. Under the authorization, the agency can waive the usually rigorous standards necessary for drug approval and instead approve drugs whose potential benefits outweigh its risks.

Gilead said it was ramping up production, has 140,000 treatment courses now and is aiming for more than 500,000 by October and more than 1 million by December. Chairman Daniel O’Day said in a letter to the public Wednesday night that all of those courses would be donated.

Gilead’s own testing, also revealed on Wednesday, suggests that five days of treatment are as good as 10, so the estimates of how many can be treated with the available supply likely can be doubled, he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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