‘They lied. Again.’ Trump team just got caught peddling phony data about blood plasma benefits

'The FDA grossly misrepresented data about a therapy': Top expert slams lies about blood plasma's benefits

Canva / UOKPL

FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn said that convalescent plasma would have saved 35 percent of coronavirus patients.

Well, guess what, America? It was yet another in an endless stream of lies.

Instead of looking for a COVID-19 vaccine, maybe the Trump Administration needs to find a truth serum…

Yes, a 35 percent improvement in survival WOULD BE a “pretty substantial clinical benefit.”

It’s also a pretty substantial lie.

35 is a ‘tremendous’ number

A closeup photograph of Donald Trump speaking in a rage.

Flickr / Marvin Moose

Trump cited the astounding, miraculous, otherworldly 35% life-saving statistic as a “tremendous” number. He also touted hydroxychloroquine as a “game-changer,” suggested injecting disinfectants would be an effective treatment, and is currently taking medical pitches from the My Pillow guy that include using oleandrin, a toxic extract.

Make no mistake, the F.D.A.’s decision to grant an emergency use authorization for COVID-19 convalescent plasma on the eve of the Republican National Convention represents the most blatant politicization of F.D.A. decision-making in history. — Michael Carome, director of the Health Research Group at the watchdog group Public Citizen

What a coincidence! The night before the Republican National Convention kicked off, Donald and his medical sycophants were on television, spinning more nonsense. He needs something to distract from the 177,000 dead Americans on his lazy, do-nothing watch.

The evidence [the F.D.A. is] drawing on is not ready for primetime. — Jeremy Faust, Harvard Medical School

Hahn seemed to backtrack.

Fake numbers

Trump's allies want him to shut up and sit down 6

Pixabay

Here’s where the chicanery comes in.

Those who received the low dose of convalescent plasma had a seven-day mortality rate of 13.7 percent, while those who received the high dose had 8.9 percent. That’s a 4.8% improvement in absolute terms, but a 35% change in relative terms.

I’ll let Jeremy Faust, an attending physician in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, translate:

This big ‘breakthrough’ that they say is a 35 percent reduction in mortality, this is a subset of a subset of a subset in a retrospective study which has not been confirmed with a trial.

Convalescent Plasma is hardly a ‘breakthrough’

Trump with the word "Plosma" displayed across the screen

Screenshot / YouTube / The Daily Show

Convalescent plasma is the yellow liquid left after blood is stripped of its red and white cells. Doctors harvest the plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 and put it into those newly infected with the virus.

Convalescent plasma is nothing new. It’s been around for more than a hundred years and has been used for other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS — with limited success.

The F.D.A. had already set up a program IN THE SPRING run by the Mayo Clinic, which has already provided the treatment to more than 70,000 people.

Again, not a new thing or a game-changer.

Hahn should be gone

Portrait of Stephen Hahn – FDA Commissioner

Wikimedia

Dr. Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif. said that Dr. Hahn should issue a correction. “He needs to come out with that, and until he does, he has no credibility as an F.D.A. commissioner,” said Dr. Topol.

Vote Trump out in November, and we will at least have found the cure for the virus in the White House.

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