May 1, 2020
To: All Domestic Employees
From: Pandemic Working Group
Re: COVID-19: Remdesivir ~ Traveling Tips ~ Wild West ~ The City of Lights
Remdesivir Gets Emergency Authorization
As reported by CNBC, today President Trump announced that the remdesivir, a therapeutic drug being developed by Gilead Sciences for the treatment of COVID-19, has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA. As we reported earlier this week, remdesivir (as depicted by asbmb.org) is a therapeutic drug – one that is used to treat a patient who is infected, and not a vaccine, which is used to protect a patient from getting the infection. According to the New York Times, based upon a trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases involving 1,063 patients who exhibited a shorter average recovery time (11 days) as compared to those who received a placebo (15 days), Dr. Anthony Fauci (director of NIAID) said, “it doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent … but is a very important proof of concept.” In its fact sheet on the drug, the FDA notes that remdesivir “has not received the same type of review as an FDA-approved or cleared product,” but, rather, is an “investigational antiviral medicine … [that] is still being studied.” The FDA explains that it is authorized to issue an EUA when, as here, “there are not adequate, approved, available alternatives” and that it is “reasonable to believe that the product meets certain criteria for safety [and] performance.” There is considerable political pressure to find effective treatments for COVID-19 quickly. While remdesivir research has not yet received peer review, Gilead is pushing to make 140,000 rounds by the end of May and, as Dr. Peter Chin-Hong of UC, San Francisco said, “Remdesivir is not a magic bullet, but it’s as good as we get right now.”
Traveling in Times of Reopening
As states begin to relax orders to stay at home, areas that experienced minimal coronavirus outbreaks are planning to allow non-essential businesses toopen and small groups to congregate in public places. As such, our field employees may also begin planning to travel locally to visit customers, end users, and field trials. We will provide detailed protocols to those planning local travel. For now, we recommend the following:
• Confirm that state and local health orders allow such meetings and be aware of any other restrictions;
• Call to confirm the contact’s good health and visitor policies;
• Bring and use hand sanitizer and face covering;
• Avoid shaking hands and maintain social distance of at least 6 feet at all times;
• Meet outside only, if possible, and do not share rides in vehicles; and
• Avoid sharing paperwork or equipment as much as possible.
Employees should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms* and notify their supervisors and/or HR if they experience any symptoms. *CDC recently revised the possible symptoms of COVID-19 to include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
The Wild, Wild West
No, this is not a May Day parade, as those are typically reserved for places like Moscow. Rather, as reported (and photographed) by KTLA 5, this is today’s demonstration by about 2,500 protestors who gathered in Huntington Beach, California to protest Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to close Orange County beaches until social distancing guidelines could be established for their reopening. Accounts of the demonstration range from “raucous” to “calm,” depending upon the media outlet. Yes, those are horses on which the local law enforcement officials are mounted. I told you this was the Wild West.
From the City of Lights
And now for something completely different. As reported by our foreign correspondent (my daughter, Julia, who lives just west of Notre Dame and is responsible for many of the custom pictograms that you have seen in these letters), today, as a precursor to the May 15 reopening of Paris, the Mayor of Paris opened Rue de Rivoli to public transportation, bicycles and limited shops, such as food trucks. As you may know, this is the street on which the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens are situated. From thousandwonders.net, this photo reminds us of why Parisians are looking forward to leaving their apartments. Have a great weekend. - TD
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COVID-19 Advisory: Remdesivir ~ Traveling Tips ~ Wild West ~ The City of Lights