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Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the Trump administration needs a "better system" for distributing coronavirus therapeutics, following the chaotic rollout of the drug remdesivir.

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan first reported, a breakdown in communication and coordination by the administration resulted in a failure last week to distribute remdesivir to some of the high-priority hospitals where it's most needed.

  • Preliminary data indicates that the drug can help patients recover from the coronavirus more quickly than patients who receive no treatment, but it does not significantly reduce the risk of death from the virus.

The backdrop: Gilead Sciences, which produces remdesivir, donated hundreds of thousands of doses to the federal government after the FDA authorized it as an emergency treatment for coronavirus patients.

  • Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said last week that the federal government would determine which U.S. cities will receive the drug based on "urgent" need and deliver the medicine.
  • More than 32,000 doses were shipped and delivered last week to Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Some doses went to less-impacted counties around the U.S., and many other doses remain unshipped.

What he's saying: "If the government is going to take control of the supply of these kinds of therapeutics — and they don't necessarily have to do that, they chose to do that — they need to have a good system in place," Gottlieb said.

  • "I think they should have been trying to push out as many doses as fast as possible because more supply is coming into the market. There's no reason to hoard it or hold on to it."
  • "So hopefully when they start to contemplate the next therapeutic, and there will be more therapeutics in the fall or a vaccine, on how they allocate that, they're going to have a better system in place based on clinical need."

Go deeper: Why Gilead's coronavirus drug is not a "silver bullet"

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 18, 2020 - World

New Zealand PM: Trump "patently wrong" about NZ coronavirus cases

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a press conference at the parliament building the Beehive in the capital, Wellington on Monday. Photo: Guo Lei/Xinhua via Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday rejected President Trump's comments on New Zealand's growing number of coronavirus cases since COVID-19 was detected in the community for the first time in 102 days last week.

Driving the news: Trump said Monday when New Zealand "beat" the virus, "it was like front page, they beat it because they wanted to show me something." "The problem is big surge in New Zealand. It's terrible. We don't want that." But Ardern said there's "no comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases being seen in the United States."

Aug 18, 2020 - Health

The U.S. didn't learn its lesson on nursing homes

Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Chart: Axios Visuals

Coronavirus cases in nursing homes surged in late July, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Why it matters: Despite all the rhetorical focus on better protecting vulnerable seniors, long-term care facilities continue to be a major source of community spread in the U.S.