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

20 hours ago - Health

Nurses rally nationwide to demand protection amid pandemic

Healthcare workers on their way to work walk past demonstrators taking part in a national day of action in Miami on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Nurses took more than 200 active demonstrations inside and outside U.S. hospital facilities in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday to demand full personal protective equipment and federal government action.

Driving the news: National Nurses United (NNU) members are demanding that the Senate pass the HEROES Act, House Democrats' $3 trillion pandemic recovery package, which they said would protect health care workers by ensuring domestic production of PPE through the Defense Production Act.

Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Health

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department.

What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.