Media Outlets Examine Science Of Coronavirus, Including U.S. Efforts To Authorize Treatments, Fund Vaccine Research

Bloomberg: How Top Scientists Are Racing to Beat the Coronavirus
“Developing a vaccine or a treatment for a newly discovered virus is a painstakingly slow and detailed endeavor. Finding a compound that works, testing it in animals, and then rolling it out to clinical trials in humans can take years. And even the top experts in virology and epidemiology typically toil in obscurity, spending long, lonely hours in the lab and garnering fleeting interest only when an unknown ailment sparks headlines. The novel coronavirus has changed all that…” (Baker et al., 3/30).

Forbes: The U.S. Just Signed A $450 Million Coronavirus Vaccine Contract With Johnson & Johnson
“The Trump administration is spending nearly half a billion dollars on one company in the race to find a coronavirus vaccine. That’s according to a $456 million order with Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceuticals arm Janssen, which specified a ‘new vaccine asset for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),’ Forbes found. It’s the largest reported amount spent on a vaccine project to date, even though the pharma giant hasn’t yet started any clinical trials as other firms have…” (Brewster, 3/30).

NPR: WHO Reviews ‘Current’ Evidence On Coronavirus Transmission Through Air
“The World Health Organization says the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t seem to linger in the air or be capable of spreading through the air over distances of more than about 3 feet. But at least one expert in virus transmission said it’s way too soon to know that…” (Greenfieldboyce, 3/28).

POLITICO: FDA issues emergency authorization of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus care
“The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, decades-old malaria drugs championed by President Donald Trump for coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence…” (Diamond, 3/29).

Wired: The Science of This Pandemic Is Moving at Dangerous Speeds
“…The last few weeks have seen a blizzard of publications about Covid-19 — and, like the outbreak itself in this country, it’s just the beginning. Many of the papers have come from China, where researchers have had more time to study the infection than the rest of the world, but important papers have emerged from Italy, as well. All of these articles have at least one thing in common: They were written, and published, in great haste. And while desperate times may dissolve norms, speed remains the enemy of rigorous science…” (Marcus/Oransky, 3/28).