What about that COVID treatment drug?

When I read the Times article on the British study of dexamethasone and its beneficial effects on COVID-19, I was a bit surprised — until I thought about it for a few minutes.

Surprised, because my sister, a physician, had told me a month or so ago — that is, before this information hit newspapers — that her hospital colleagues were using the drug for COVID patients and from what she said, I had to believe pulmonologists in hospitals all over the country were using it. It sounded like a sort of let’s-try-this treatment to help patients in recovery. It’s not seen as a cure, but as an assist to patients fighting COVID. And it’s been around for a while so they know what it does and doesn’t do.

My niece, also a physician working in a hospital, confirmed the use of it.

Then I realized what the Brits did was a formal research study of the effects of dexamethasone on COVID specifically. Before 2019, there was no COVID-19 to research. So, OK, my surprise was reduced.

But I’m not sure why it’s being announced as if it’s an innovation and revelation. Physicians were not waiting around for a study before utilizing a drug they knew could be effective for some patients.

Physicians aren’t waiting around, no. They’re trying to treat their patients. Yet Trump’s BARDA isn’t even trying to find a treatment. Not anymore.


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