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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

Updated Dec 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Dec 9, 2020 - Health

Pennsylvania governor tests positive for coronavirus

Gov. Tom Wolf at a press conference on Oct. 1. Photo: Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group/Daily Local News via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), 72, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, and is experiencing no symptoms as he self-isolates, he tweeted Wednesday.

The big picture: Current coronavirus hospitalizations and cases are skyrocketing in Pennsylvania, as well as in many states across the U.S., per the COVID Tracking Project. Wolf tweeted on Tuesday that "hospitalizations are reaching critical levels" in his state.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.