Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA chief in the Trump administration, told CNBC on Friday that White House doctors “probably are considering” whether to give the president Donald Trump remdesivir, Gilead Sciences“The antiviral drug approved for the treatment of Covid-19 with emergency approval.
“Remdesivir is indicated for hospital patients. However, it is believed that it will likely improve outcomes before it is introduced as the disease progresses,” Gottlieb said in one “Squawk Box” Interview.
The main question of how to proceed now is the President, First Lady Melania Trump and White House advisor Hope Hicks, who tested positive for coronavirus, is on whether she’s showing symptoms, Gottlieb previously said The New York Times reported The president is said to have mild symptoms on Friday morning.
Trump, 74, tweeted at 12:54 a.m. ET that he and the 50-year-old first lady tested positive for Covid-19, hours after the president announced he would be initiating a quarantine process following the 31-year-old Hick’s positive result would exam.
According to a statement from White House Doctor Dr. Sean Conley, published shortly after the President’s tweet, said the President and First Lady are “both fine” at the moment. Conley also wrote that he expects Trump “to continue performing his duties uninterruptedly while he recovers”.
“They all have a good chance of doing well. [Trump] was previously in good health according to all reports and is being well looked after, “said Gottlieb.
Gottlieb said, however: “The President belongs to a risk group just because of his age of 74 years. He is also said to be overweight.”
Gottlieb said the White House will likely “cast a wide net” to find out who the president has put in touch. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they tested the entire link today and introduced various test equipment so they could get a more sensitive result,” he said.
The aim will also be to protect the Vice President Mike Pence, Said Gottlieb. Pence and the second lady, Karen Pence, tested negative. The White House announced Friday. Finance minister Steven Mnuchin also tested negative on Friday morning.
Trump is expected to appear at the second presidential debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden on October 15 – just 13 days after revealing his diagnosis. During their first debate on Tuesday evening, the President mocked Biden for wearing masks and downplaying the virus for wearing masks.
The president’s positive test underscores how widespread and contagious the coronavirus is, said Gottlieb. The “basic message” is that everyone is vulnerable, said Gottlieb.
How Americans view the virus when Trump is diagnosed depends on his condition. If Trump gets sick, people could get the news about the severity of the disease, Gottlieb said.
However, if Trump doesn’t show symptoms, it could “cut the other way” and people could see the virus isn’t that bad, Gottlieb said.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Twitter tweeted Friday morning, “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a speedy recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the President and his family.” Biden didn’t mention if he was tested in the tweet.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, the genetic testing startup Tempus and a biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has signed a manufacturing agreement with Gilead to manufacture Remdesivir. Gottlieb is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘ and royal caribbean“Healthy sailing panel”.