‘Bout time we had some good news on COVID around here.
Although … there was actually some good news this morning that went by the boards, when 3M and MIT announced they’ll be partnering on an antigen test for coronavirus that should be available later this year. Antigen tests are cheap and simple and produce results within minutes, no more complicated in some cases than applying a sample to a piece of treated paper and seeing whether it reacts. 3M thinks it can manufacture several million tests per day once this is off the ground. Say goodbye to all the stuff you’ve been reading lately about supply-chain shortages and long delays in getting test results.
There was good news on Friday too. It wasn’t a randomized clinical trial so the results here aren’t being viewed as definitive, but Gilead has observed that severely ill patients treated with remdesivir appear meaningfully more likely to survive than patients who don’t receive it. That had been an open question after the first trials of the drug, which showed faster recovery times for remdesivir patients than for others but no clear death benefit. If Gilead is right then maybe we have a partial explanation for why the number of deaths has remained considerably lower in hot-spot states than in New York this past spring.