President Trump praises drug he received for COVID-19, pledges to make it available to others for free

"I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president," President Trump said.


President Donald Trump suggested in a video statement that a drug could be available for free to people facing COVID-19.

He said he would work to ensure the combination of drugs he was administered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — including a high dose of an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron — would be made available at no cost to other Americans.

He made the remarks in a nearly 5-minute video statement Wednesday. He suggested he wanted the drugs approved and to get them to hospitals to people, adding "that's much more important to me than the vaccine."

"I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president," Trump said. "I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise."

Trump’s doctors asked for the Regeneron drug, which Trump praised Wednesday, under “compassionate use” rules, which allow a patient with a life-threatening disease to get an experimental medicine if they can’t enroll in a study testing it and there’s no good alternative.

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. revealed on Tuesday how rare it was for anyone to get the drug it gave Trump outside of studies testing its safety and effectiveness. The drug, which supplies antibodies to help the immune system clear the coronavirus, is widely viewed as very promising.

Trump also received the antiviral remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, and it’s impossible to know whether any of these drugs did him any good.

These drugs are unproven for mild illness and have not been tested in combination.

Trump's doctor reported Wednesday that the president continued to make progress in his recovery.

Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, said Trump had declared, “I feel great!”

Conley added in a memo that Trump had been symptom-free for over 24 hours, and that his oxygen saturation level and respiratory rate were normal. The memo also said a blood test Monday showed Trump had coronavirus antibodies, substances that fight infection, but he had been given an experimental drug on Friday containing these.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. says it’s not possible for this type of blood test to distinguish between antibodies Trump’s body may be making and those supplied by the company’s drug. Most likely, the ones detected in the Monday test are from the drug, the company said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals can discontinue isolation 10 days after symptom onset. While reports of reinfection are rare, the CDC recommends that even people who recover from COVID-19 continue to wear a mask, stay distanced and follow other precautions.

The video was the first time Trump has been seen since returned from Walter Reed on Monday evening.

CNN contributed to this report.