Notes from today’s COVID-19 briefing from President Trump:
FDA close to approving Gilead Sciences’ (GILD +3.5%) remdesivir.
Also mentioned Regeneron’s (REGN +3.7%) sarilumab.
More than 9K confirmed cases in U.S.
Has not yet “pulled the trigger” on Defense Production Act invocation.
Defends his early ban on flights from China.
On the corporate front, focused on helping airline, cruise ship and hotel industries.
FDA Commissioner Hahn:
17K staff working “around the clock” during the outbreak.
Agency is implementing measure to quickly review and enable access to treatments with the proviso that it remains committed to product safety and effectiveness.
First priority: review drugs already approved for other uses. Clinical trials will be required.
Immunoglobulin treatments also promising.
Approval of a vaccine at least a year away (still a very rapid timeframe).
Work on economic relief package underway in Senate.
FEMA will lead the response.
Thousands of additional ventilators available for use.
Half of confirmed cases in 10 counties in three states.
Construction firms offering masks, hazmat suits and other protective gear.
Update: Carnival (CCL +5.2%) CEO has offered ships to temporarily house people, if needed.