A band of America's top scientists, billionaires and industry moguls have allied together under the name, "Scientists to Stop Covid-19" to find the most effective ways to deal with the recent Coronavirus pandemic.
The newly formed organization has access to the White House and have already composed a confidential 17 page report that has seen partial implementation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department for Veteran Affairs. Furthermore, The Governor of Massachusetts, Charles Baker, is planning to oversee specific implementations as well.
A former physician and now venture capitalist, Tom Cahill, is the leader of the organization and through his wealth management firm, Newpath Partners, Cahill has garnered support and credibility for the cause.
"Dr. Cahill's primary asset is a young lifetime of connections through his investment firm. They include such billionaires as Peter Thiel, Jim Palotta and Michael Milken -- financiers who afforded him the legitimacy to reach officials in the middle of the crisis. Dr. Cahill and his group have frequently advised Nick Ayers, Vice President Pence's longtime aide, and agency heads through phone calls over the past month," Fox News reported.
The group's aim is to take research, ideas and strategies from around the globe, analyze them, and filter out the useful ideas from the unserious ones.
The group has promoted several unorthodox ideas including treating infected patients with higher than before-seen dosages of drugs typically used to fight ebola.
According to Fox News, there are three phases of recommendations enclosed in the report that aim to utilize the scope and scale of the federal government. These recommendations include the purchase of medications that haven't previously been proven effective to encourage higher production from manufacturers without the worry of a loss of revenue in the event the drugs fail.
Another overarching theme and recommendation is the slashing of red tape to encourage new drug development. The group recommends the federal government cut clinical review time of new drugs from a year or nine months to just a week.
The first glimpse of hard success in this endeavor came when the group pushed the FDA to allow Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc -a maker of a drug the group identified as the most promising treatment towards Covid-19 they have seen so far- to move production to Ireland.
"The scientists had in their research identified monoclonal antibody drugs that latch onto virus cells as the most promising treatment. But to make the medicine in sufficient quantities, one drugmaker, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., would have to shift some of its existing manufacturing to Ireland. FDA rules required a months long wait for approval."
After a failed attempt by Edward Scolnick, the former head of research and development at the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., to push the FDA to give Regeneron a green light to move production, Mr. Cahill contacted Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's aid. Ayers handled the situation and the FDA gave Regeneron clearance to shift production to Dublin that day, March 27.
The group has also begun creating a fourth phase to their Covid-19 plan: reopening America.
"The ideas include development of a saliva test, and scheduling such test at the end of the workday so results are available by morning. They also have suggested a nationwide smartphone app that requires residents to confirm each day that they don't have any of 14 symptoms of a cold or fever," Fox News reported.
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