Fauci: U.S. to spend $3.2 billion for antiviral pills for COVID-19

Caption
Dr. Fauci Admits He’s ‘Not Convinced’COVID-19 Developed Naturally.Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious diseases expert inthe United States, is questioning the origin of COVID-19.During a Poynter event,“United Facts of America:A Festival of Fact-Checking,”Dr. Fauci was asked whetherhe was confident the virusdeveloped naturally. .In response, Dr. Fauci admittedthat he “wasn’t convinced.” .He instead believes that we should “continueto investigate” COVID-19’s origin.No actually. I am not convinced about that.I think we should continue to investigate whatwent on in China until we continue to find outto the best of our ability what happened, Dr. Anthony Fauci, via 'NYP'.Dr. Fauci went on to cast doubt on the theory thatCOVID-19 started in animals, saying that “we needto find [out]” if something else happened.Certainly, the people who investigated itsay it likely was the emergence from ananimal reservoir that then infected individuals,but it could have been something else, andwe need to find that out, Dr. Anthony Fauci, via 'NYP'.So, you know, that’s the reason why I saidI’m perfectly in favor of any investigationthat looks into the origin of the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, via 'NYP'.Dr. Fauci reiteratedhis support for a “fullinvestigation” during aMay 11 Senate hearing. .When asked if it was possible that COVID-19 arose from alab accident, Dr. Fauci said “that possibility certainly exists.”

WASHINGTON — The United States is devoting $3.2 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, announced the investment during a White House briefing as part of a new “antiviral program for pandemics” to develop drugs to address symptoms caused by potentially dangerous viruses such as the coronavirus.

ExploreComplete coverage: Coronavirus

The pills for COVID-19, which would be used to minimize symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by year’s end, pending the completion of clinical trials. The funding will speed those clinical trials and provide additional support private sector research, development and manufacturing.

Fauci said the new program would invest in “accelerating things that are already in progress” for COVID-19 but also work to innovate new therapies for other viruses.

ExploreGeorgia surpasses 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

“There are few treatments that exist for many of the viruses that have pandemic potential," said Fauci.

But he added, “vaccines clearly remain the centerpiece of our arsenal.”

News of the administration’s plans for the pill was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.