WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Thursday, President Donald Trump discussed developments regarding anti-viral therapies and his hope for two drugs that can potentially treat symptoms of those who have been infected with COVID-19. The president also noted how the FDA is expediting anti-viral treatments for the novel coronavirus.
Cloroqhuine or hydroxycholoquine, a drug that has been often used to treat malaria and arthritis, is one of the potential anti-viral treatments. The drug has been around for a long time, the president noted, and there have been encouraging early results in its treatment on coronavirus patients. Prescriptions would be available almost immediately for the drug, the president said.
The president also discussed Remdesivir from Gilead Sciences, and how it has been showing promising results. In addition to the anti-viral treatments, the president shared his enthusiasm with the developments of a coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, remarked on how the organization is working fast but is still following necessary standards and safety guidelines.
Earlier this week, President Trump had discussed initiatives to stimulate the economy and help those impacted by the novel coronavirus by sending government checks to Americans.
The first federal checks to families could be $3,000 for a family of four under the White House proposal to unleash $1 trillion to shore up households and the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the “checks in the mail” would be direct deposited into people’s accounts under the plan the Trump administration has proposed to Congress.
The payments would be $1,000 per adult and $500 per child so that a family of two parents and two children would receive $3,000, Mnuchin told Fox Business Network. The goal is to get that money out in three weeks, he said.
“That’s a lot of money for hard-working Americans,” Mnuchin said.
He said such families would receive another $3,000 six weeks later if the national emergency still exists. Officials have previously said the money is expected to be allocated by income level, to exclude the super-wealthy.
Congress is rushing to compile the sweeping economic rescue package, the biggest undertaking since the 2008 recession and financial crisis, in a matter of days.
Details on Trump's economic rescue plan are still being worked out — and it's sure to grow beyond $1 trillion, lawmakers said — but its centerpiece is to dedicate $500 billion to start issuing direct payments to Americans, starting early next month.
The Treasury Department proposed two $250 billion cash infusions to individuals: a first set of checks issued starting April 6, with a second wave in mid-May.
The emerging package would also funnel cash to businesses to help keep workers on payroll as widespread sectors of the $21 trillion U.S. economy all but shut down.
It also is expected to include sweeping health provisions. President Donald Trump has invoked war-time authority to ramp up output of vital medical supplies and erect temporary field hospitals under the Defense Production Act.
“There is not a day to lose," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Thursday. "We must put more testing, more protective equipment and more ventilators into the hands of our frontline workers immediately.”
Taken together, the administration plan promises half of the $1 trillion to families and individuals, with the other half used to prop up businesses and keep employees on payroll.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.