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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Gilead is ramping up production of remdesivir. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Remdesivir, officially branded as Veklury, does indeed work for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to expert reads of the data that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Yes, but: The benefits remain rather limited, as patients on the drug leave the hospital in 11 days vs. 15 days.

  • Remdesivir appeared to have no effect for the sickest patients who were on a ventilator or an ECMO machine.
  • The drug also did not lead to a statistically significant drop in deaths, just as the early readout suggested.

The bottom line: "These preliminary findings support the use of remdesivir for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and require supplemental oxygen therapy," researchers wrote. "However, given high mortality despite the use of remdesivir, it is clear that treatment with an antiviral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient."

My thought bubble: Releasing highly anticipated data late on a Friday heading into a holiday weekend — even one that is hindered by quarantine — isn't quite the thing to do if you're really excited about something.

Go deeper: All eyes now fall on Gilead's price

Go deeper

Analysis: Steroid treatment reduced deaths for seriously ill COVID-19 patients

Corticosteroids, including Dexamethasone, could reduce mortality among critically ill COVID-19 patients. Photo: Xinhua/Jon Super via Getty Images

Data from seven studies with about 1,700 seriously ill COVID-19 patients found that corticosteroids reduce mortality by about one-third, according to analysis published Wednesday in JAMA.

Why it matters: Corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, could likely be a low-cost, first line of defense for critically ill coronavirus patients.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 2, 2020 - Health

America's botched coronavirus response foretells a dark future

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

America's failures in handling the coronavirus pandemic bode ill for our ability to deal with climate change and other threats that loom on the horizon.

Why it matters: America's ongoing struggles with the coronavirus have caused tremendous human and economic pain. But what should worry us for future disasters that could be far worse is the way the pandemic has exposed deep political divisions and a disinformation ecosystem that muddies even the hardest facts.

Sep 2, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus is the leading cause of death for law enforcement in 2020

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Coronavirus infections contracted in the line of duty are the leading cause of death among police officers so far in 2020, resulting in at least 100 fatalities, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 was deadlier than gun violence, car accidents and all other causes combined, data compiled by the Officer Down Memorial Page and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows.