It was "great" for the Food and Drug Administration to grant an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19, but it could have been done earlier, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Monday.
"This has been around for numerous things for decades, right? And the odds on the safety end the odds of somebody being hurt by this is close to zero and probably zero," Navarro said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The odds of this working is close to 100%. So in that case why would you drag your heels? It was great what the FDA did yesterday. It could have been done a week before or a couple of weeks ago based on convalescent plasma."
Navarro, drawing on an analogy from Ben Franklin, added that sometimes he thinks medical experts would "rather have 100,000 people die from the virus than have one person die from some of the therapeutics," and he thinks that convalescent plasma "is like the poster child for this."
"We have extremely abnormal times where Americans are dying every day, and there's a struggle now philosophically in the medical profession," Navarro said.
The plasma therapy uses antibodies from someone who has already had COVID-19 to transfer to someone who is fighting the infection, a procedure that has the odds of working of close to 100%, said Navarro, asking why the FDA would drag its heels on approving it.
He added that President Donald Trump is working on "all these different fronts in 'Trump time,'" or as quickly as possible.
"All I see here are treatments, therapeutics that could be saving lives that come to us a few steps behind remdesivir," said Navarro. "We all agree that remdesivir is an excellent treatment but, you know, that took too long to get."
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