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Even some supporters are disappointed that COVID-19 bout didn't humble Trump

By Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

At recent rallies, Trump has promised that all Americans could soon have access to his level of care. On Tuesday at the Pennsylvania rally, in working-class Johnstown, he said the mortality rate from COVID-19 would soon be "perfecto."

"That drug that they gave me, we're going to be distributing it all over the country to hospitals and everything else, because I'll tell you, that sucker works," he said. "That's my opinion. What do I know? But to me it works."

His enthusiasm is raising questions at some hospitals.

Dr. Scott Ellner, the chief executive officer of the Billings Clinic, the largest health system in Montana, explained in an all-staff online meeting this week that its medical center in Billings would fly in about 80 nurses, lab technicians and other medical workers to help deal with infection rates that have been rising dramatically in parts of the state.

A staff member wanted to know: Would the hospital provide the same level of medications that the president received?

Ellner explained that the hospital provides dexamethasone and remdesivir but that it does not have access to the monoclonal antibodies.


"If we could have access to any of these novel treatments, we would be open to any allocation that's available," he said in an interview.

In Los Angeles, Dr. Otto Yang, a infectious disease specialist at the UCLA medical school, said he has heard similar questions.

But he cautioned against believing the antibody treatment was "better than what the average person can get" - despite Trump's description of it as a "miracle."

"The treatment is in clinical trials and is not yet proven to be effective or safe," he said.


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