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COVID-19 Update | Thursday, March 19 (PM)

March 19, 2020


  • Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the FDA is fast-tracking antiviral treatments for COVID-19 patients.
    • The FDA is exploring using drugs that are already approved for expanded uses, including for COVID-19.
    • Currently, the vaccine trial is in phase one, and could take 12 months to fully develop.
  • Under the recently enacted legislation, state and private labs are required to report testing results directly to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
    • Tens of thousands tests are being performed daily.
  • The legislation also allows the sale of industrial masks directly to hospitals (including N95 masks).
    • Previously, only a certain amount of masks being produced were available for hospital use.
    • Companies such as Honeywell and 3M are increasing their production and are now selling more of their production volume to hospitals.
    • Vice President Pence mentioned that Honeywell is repurposing a factory that was set to be moved to Mexico to produce additional masks and that 3M is ramping up production to produce 420 million masks this year.
    • The Vice President also discussed that construction companies are donating masks and other personal protective equipment to hospitals.
  • Vice President Pence discussed that tens of thousands of ventilators have been identified as being able to be converted to treat patients.
  • Dr. Birx once again described that there will be a steep increase in confirmed cases because of the increase in testing that will continue over the next 2-3 days.
  • It was clarified that while the President had enabled the Defense Production Act, no specific items had been targeted yet for production under the authorities provided.
  • Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison has contacted the President and offered to make ships available to bolster number of beds and use as a possible quarantine location.


  • Reports indicate that Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley supports giving taxpayers as much as $1,200 in relief as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a plan he may release later today.
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