COVID Drug Given to Trump Developed From Aborted Fetus’ Cells
According to an article in The Guardian, a drug given to Donald Trump for his COVID-19 treatment, was developed using human cells obtained from an aborted fetus. The President has been promoting this as a potential cure for the disease that has taken over a million lives globally.
Ironically, time and again, Trump has emphasized his disapproval about the practice of abortion, seeking to restrict access to the health service.
The drug in question hasn’t been approved yet. It is a monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron. The president received an8-gram infusion under a “compassionate use” exemption when he was hospitalized over the weekend after testing positive for Covid-19.
The stem cells used to develop the drug are known as HEK-293T cells which were procured from an elective abortion performed n Netherlands in 1970’s.
Embryonic stem cell research has been always disputed by the 2020 Republican party. In 2019, Trump’s administration paused funding for government scientists to work on studies involving embryonic stem cells, affecting about $31m in research, according to Science Magazine.
Regeneron, on the other hand, doesn’t consider these cells fetal ‘tissue’ because the HEK-293T line of cells has been “immortalized” and they divide and regenerate themselves in the laboratory.
“It’s how you want to parse it, but the 293T cell lines available today are not considered fetal tissue, and we did not otherwise use fetal tissue.”Alexandra Bowie, Regeneron spokewoman
The investigational drug has been in clinical trials since June. Even though early results from a trial with around 300 non-hospitalised COVID patients showed the drug was safe and could reduce viral levels and improve symptoms, the data is yet to be peer-reviewed.
According to CNN, the treatment is not yet approved for any use from the US FDA. The company, however, is in talks for an emergency approval. Regeneron has also confirmed that it had provided the drug under a ‘compassionate use’ request for President Trump from the doctors.
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