Convalescent plasma donated by a recovered COVID-19 patient. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

A panel of experts at the National Institutes of Health on Tuesday weighed into the FDA's emergency use authorization (EUA) of convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment, stressing that "there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against" the use of plasma to treat COVID-19 patients.

Why it matters: President Trump and other officials pressured the FDA to grant an EUA for plasma despite warnings from public health experts, including those at the NIH, that data from randomized clinical trials was needed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

  • The objections against the authorization continued after FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn oversold the benefits of convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment at a press conference with President Trump. He later apologized.

What they're saying: "There are currently no data from well-controlled, adequately powered randomized clinical trials that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19," the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel wrote.

  • The panel added that convalescent plasma "should not be considered standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19."

The bottom line: The NIH panel called for "prospective, well-controlled, adequately powered randomized trials" to "determine whether convalescent plasma is effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19."

Go deeper: The tug of war over the FDA

Go deeper

11 hours ago - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
17 hours ago - Health

Millions of COVID-19 vulnerable adults tied to schools

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable to the coronavirus, and at least 63.2% of employees live with someone who is at increased risk, according to a new study published in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: We know children can catch and spread the virus. This study emphasizes why minimizing risk if and when schools reopen is crucial.