Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pres Trump: 'Very positive day'; Moderna Vaccine Trials 'positive', and Other Coronavirus Updates

Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP
Monday was perhaps the most hopeful day so far of the COVID pandemic in the U.S., as a Massachusetts biotech company reported a promising vaccine trial, stocks rallied on the news, all but one state were reopening for business, Detroit’s Big Three automakers restarted factories and Delta Airlines announced it will resume flying several major routes next month.
Moderna Inc. reported that the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans appears to be safe and to stimulate an immune response against the virus. Although the study is not complete, some patients who were vaccinated developed antibodies at levels mirroring recovered COVID-19 patients.
“We’re quite pleased with the breadth of the immune response so far,” company president Dr. Stephen Hoge said on “CBS This Morning.”
Major stock indexes soared on the development. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 911 points, or 3.8%, to close at 24,597 — its best day since early April. The S&P 500, which gained 3.1%, hit a 10-week high.
At the White House, President Trump called it “a very positive day,” saying he believes the nation has turned a corner from economic shutdowns due to the pandemic.
“This was a very big day therapeutically, vaccine-wise and cure-wise,” Mr. Trump said during a meeting with restaurant executives. “It almost feels like today is the first day. Last week didn’t feel the same. Now it feels good. People are starting to go out there, opening. They get it.”
The president also made the starting disclosure that he is taking daily doses of hydroxycholoroquine, the anti-malarial drug that received emergency authorization from the FDA as a treatment COVID-19 patients. Its effectiveness has not been established.
“I’ve been taking it for about a week-and-a-half now, and I’m still here,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s a very good chance this has an impact.”
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