The man who has become the voice of reason and science from the daily White House coronavirus briefings was positively circumspect today about a declaration from one of the physicians featured in Netflix’s Pandemic about a possible COVID-19 vaccine.
“I don’t know this specific individual, what they’re doing, but I can tell you there’s a lot of activity that is centered around a passive transfer of antibodies in the form of convalescent plasma,” Dr. Anthony Fauci replied to the front-row question this afternoon from Fox News’ John Roberts about the widely covered claims by Dr. Jacob Glanville, who seen in the first season of the recently released series.
“This is an old concept,” the long-serving director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases added of the Distributed Bio CEO’s efforts to mutate a series of antibodies that were successful in combating the SARS outbreak nearly 20 years ago.
“In fact, immunology was born decades and decades ago with the concept of giving passive transfer of serum to an individual to protect them from infection,” the media-savvy Fauci noted as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stood behind him in the Executive Mansion. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if he and a number of other people are pursing this. It’s the right thing to do.”
Certainly it is a timely thing to do as confirmed cases of COVID-19 move closer to 1 million globally and caused more than 40,000 deaths, according to the WHO.
Featured in the six-episode documentary series Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, which launched January 22, Golden State-based Glanville told a New Zealand radio show today that “we’ve evolved them in our laboratory, so now they very vigorously block and stop the SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] virus as well.”
Earlier, with the caveat that his fast-acting potential vaccine of sorts will only protect people for eight to 10 weeks, bioengineer and computational immunologist Glanville had tweeted out some of the science at play:
Anti-#COVID19 #therapeutic update. After 9 weeks we have generated extremely potent picomolar antibodies that block known #neutralizing #ACE2 #epitopes, blocking the novel #coronavirus from infecting human cells. Read more at https://t.co/Fht9buIZkU. pic.twitter.com/2v7NMk7kyZ
— Dr. Jacob Glanville (@CurlyJungleJake) April 1, 2020
Clearly no stranger to the glare of a media spotlight, Glanville also took to his curlyjunglejake Instagram account to note that Fauci had addressed him, though not by name:
“The ultimate gamechanger in this will be a vaccine,” Fauci said with no small understatement earlier in today’s briefing by top brass. “The same way that a vaccine for other diseases that were scourges in the past, that now we don’t even worry about,” he pronounced as the 73-year-old POTUS nodded behind him
“The vaccine is on target, we are still in Phase 1,” Fauci told an America used to instant results. “I think we are right on target for a year, a year and a half.”
As of Wednesday, more than 80% of the U.S. population is under a stay-at-home order.
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