If you haven’t heard, Democratic President Joe Biden recently tested positive for the infamous COVID-19. As such, he is quarantining as much as possible and receiving treatment as necessary. Currently, that means Paxlovid, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of COVID-19.
If you haven’t heard of the pill, it was granted emergency authorization by the FDA in December of 2021 and has since been used by a great many people in the U.S. However, it noted that the idea behind this medication does not either prevent COVID-19 or make it go away. Additionally, it is not to be used in place of a COVID vaccine.
Instead, the antiviral therapy produced by Pfizer is designed to merely mitigate some of the symptoms or at the very least reduce the severity of those symptoms.
As such, only those with severe symptoms or at high risk of hospitalization and/or death are usually given it. This includes those at an older age or who may have health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or are obese. Eligible patients must also be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 88 pounds before they are diagnosed with COVID.
Initially, it was available by prescription from a doctor only. However, recently, the FDA authorized state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe it to those who are eligible for Paxlovid.
Now, at the ripe old age of 79, Joe Biden is certainly one you could consider to be in the “at-risk” category. And if you believe one of the last major gaffes, he has cancer… (To be clear, there is no reason to think he actually does have cancer. Instead, he merely confused this with COVID, apparently, as he is easily confused and prone to word errors these days.)
In any case, the health of our president should be of the utmost concern. And so, he was prescribed a round of Paxlovid.
The medication is given as a set of three pills to be taken together twice a day for the span of five days. It must be taken within the first five days of experiencing symptoms.
Two of the pills are nirmatrelvir tablets, designed to inhibit a SARS-CoV-2 protein which stops the virus from creating more cells. The other pill is a ritonavir tablet, which slows down the breakdown of the first two pills making for supposedly longer-lasting effects.
However, more than a few Paxlovid users have noted that the reduction in symptoms doesn’t really last all that long.
Take America’s supposed foremost expert on COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
When he was diagnosed with COVID last month, he too was prescribed Paxlovid. According to a recent speech he gave at a global health forum, the infamous doctor said he tested negative, and his symptoms abated for three consecutive days after finishing his round of Paxlovid. On the fourth day, however, he tested positive again and began to get all the symptoms back.
He called the situation “Paxlovid rebound.” And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was an expected occurrence. In May, the CDC even put out an advisory, noting that symptoms and positive tests could occur in some patients within two to eight days after completing their Paxlovid round.
The CDC also said that symptom comeback might, in fact, “be part of the natural history” of the disease. However, Dr. Fauci apparently wasn’t so sure, as he took a second round of the drug.
In any case, this is what Biden is currently being treated with, as he is clearly older and, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, is experiencing mild symptoms. Only time will tell if it will help him much or if he will also experience the Paxlovid rebound.