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tv   Washington Journal Dr. Leonard Schleifer  CSPAN  March 29, 2020 5:04pm-5:32pm EDT

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>> coming up shortly, president trump, vice president hence, -- pence, and the task force will update the government's response. here are some of today's washington journal. joining us from new york is dr. leonard schleifer. he is the founder and ceo of regeneron pharmaceuticals. guest: thank you for having me. host: you are working on covid-19 treatment and a possible vaccine for this. explain what your company is doing and the breakthroughs you would -- the breakthroughs you hope to achieve. guest: i think of it in three parts. first you have the office shelf solutions. is there anything here and now
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that we have, approved drugs that might be repurposed to try and attack this virus? a lot of them are being tried. i don't think all of them are going to work but it is worth trying. in that vein we have something that blocks the inflammation. it is a drug
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we have been working night and day and weekend. i have been in contact with people from the white house. me wantingve called to know what should be in the bill to help people be ready to deploy this cocktail. are in the epicenter right here in westchester county. it is terrible. i have a friend who was very sick for a long time. i have a friend right now who has been on a ventilator for several weeks. it is terribly distressing. the leadership governor cuomo has shown has been amazing. everybody has been pulling together.
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there has been issues of is someone doing enough. but we are in unprecedented times. with to make sure we don't bicker and point fingers now. we have to get the job done. everyone has to be going the same direction. we used that spirit of wanting to compete. we were all competing against this virus. we have to win and i think we will win. host: he is the founder and ceo generon pharmaceuticals.
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caller: my question has to do with those who consider this hysteria. it is all about the rate of mortality. out of 1000 people, one would die from the regular flu versus 20 from the coronavirus. or something like that.
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why do we make the point that so many more people will need extensive care. host: thank you for the call. guest: great question. it is hard to know how to make these calculations. we don't know how may people have infections. looks like this virus could be five to 10 times more lethal than the flu virus. but that isn't the only issue here. there are loads and loads of americans who have had related
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clues. they might be protected. or have been vaccinated. i encourage everyone to get their flu vaccine. it is still not too late. if you can get to a place that is giving it. the flu vaccine protects so many people. ish this virus, the problem that none of us have seen it before. none of us have been back to needed. have people who could potentially get sick around the same time. that is what is overwhelming us. hospitals in new for me tos hard imagine what is going on. i know now there are doctors sitting in the icu who are taking care of patients. their patients overflowing.
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right now we have enough resources. but this virus could get ahead of us. it is really a question of it happening all at once with none of us having any immunity to this virus.
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caller: good morning. i have a question and a comment. the question is, do you have any information on the virus being on our money and our mail and our newspapers? my comment is, i think a law should be made to penalize those people who are obviously irresponsible and not following the guidelines like the people playing and swimming on the beaches. hundreds of people were just totally irresponsible. host: thank you for the call. guest: thank you for the question. i will leave the policy aspects to the government officials. they are better suited for that. i certainly encourage people to follow the guidelines because we really do -- we have to slow this down or we will overwhelm this system completely. as far as whether or not the virus can live on surfaces other than human surfaces, it can live on countertops, doorknobs. i believe it is possible to live for some period of time on paper and cardboard. perhaps the best thing is when you handle it if you must, wash your hands very carefully immediately after. trying to delay handling things. let the mail sit for a couple of days. host: in arizona, scott, good morning. caller: good morning. dr. schleifer, i have a
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background in technological sciences. i had 25 years as a machine specialist working for companies like motorola and intel. i had a couple ideas. they taught me to think outside of the box. a couple years ago or multiple years ago, i saw some experiments with hyper oxygenated liquids where they took lab rats and they submerge these rats into this fluid and at first it looked like they were drowning but after a while they just started moving around like everything was normal. since pneumonia is the act of the lungs filling with fluid, it seems to me like you could take fluid and put it to a practical use. my second idea, in manufacturing integrated circuits, a lot of
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deionized water is required. they is -- they use semi permeable membranes for reverse osmosis and i was wondering if something might develop for a long prophylactic that could be inhaled and would form a semi permeable barrier that would allow oxygen to pass through but would screen out the larger viruses? i was wondering what your thoughts are on these sort of outside the box types of ideas. host: thanks for the call. guest: i will say this. those are really outside of my areas of expertise but i would never bet against the injured -- bet against the ingenuity of the american people. out-of-the-box ideas are exactly what these sorts of moments will bring forward. i know our company is looking at every single day, how do we come up with a way to shorten that time to get our drug into
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patients, how we can shorten the time that we can stale up -- scale up manufacturing. those ideas are beyond my expertise. i will say it again, i am never going to bet against american ingenuity. host: i want to get your reaction to dr. anthony fauci and what he said about the vaccine and treatment outline in a white house briefing. [video clip] >> one of the most important things is one that i mentioned several times from this podium and that is to clarify about the timeline for vaccines and would that have any impact on what we would call the rebound or a cycling in the season. certainly for sure, a vaccine is not -- we are in a phase one trial and i keep referring to one vaccine, but there are a couple handfuls of vaccines at different stages of development but they are all following the same course in the course is, you first go into a phase one
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trial to see if it is safe. very few people within a certain age group, all healthy, none at great risk of getting infected. the reason you do that, you want to make sure that it is safe. the next thing you do, -- that takes about three months, usually more. that brings us into the middle of summer. then you have the phase two trial. we will put a lot of people in. we hope there are not a lot of people getting infected but it is likely there will be somewhere in the world where that is going on. it is likely we will get what is called an efficacy single. -- efficacy signal and we will know whether or not it works. if in fact it does, we hope to rush it to have some impact on recycling in the next season and that could be a year to a year and a half.
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i am not changing any of the dates i mentioned but one of the things that we are going to do that has been a stumbling block from previous developments of vaccines is even before you know something works, at risk, you have to start producing it because once you know it works, you can't say great, it works, now give me another six months to produce it. we did not take the risk with zika. that is why we have a nice zika vaccine but not enough to do it because there is no zika around. that is one of the things we are going to push on is to have it ready if in fact it works. host: that was dr. anthony fauci and dr. leonard schleifer, as you hear that, your reaction or thoughts? guest: first of all, kudos to tony.
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he has been amazing, working his tail off. i don't even know if the man sleeps but he has been doing everything he can to move forward on things like a vaccine. when i was in the white house meeting with the president, dr. fauci was part of that group and i echoed his sentiment that a vaccine takes some time. there are some vaccines you develop that make people worse. you can't just say you've got it. what he said very carefully is we can try half a dozen of these , start scaling up a half dozen of these and then if one or two work, we will already have the material. that is something only on a scale that the federal government can do. private industry and these smaller companies cannot afford to manufacture something less they know there was a customer likely to be there and that is why you stage these things. he is saying to do these things in parallel. it makes perfect sense to me.
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our antibody cocktail is something that won't have the same limitations. once you get this cocktail, you will know very quickly whether you are getting better if you already have the disease and we should be able to tell fairly quickly if we can prevent people from getting it. the safety of giving antibody cocktail, human antibodies, these mice have been the source of several approved drugs already. we don't anticipate the drug -- the technology itself provides any special risk. we are optimistic. we think we can do this on a shorter timeframe. host: our guest is the founder and ceo of regeneron. this is what the website looks like as we listen to robert in maryland. caller: good morning. doctor, as we know there are few coincidences in life. if you draw a big circle around
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the epicenters, you will notice that the center of that is the port of new york and new jersey. none of you have mentioned this. nobody is saying anything about this. is it just a possibility that this disease is coming in from all of the chinese cargo ship's and all of these cargo ships are shipping the goods out from this point and as they ship those goods out to our stores, we have been contaminated, is that not a possibility? if you look at the bullseye, it is that port but nobody wants to say that. i heard you get on this tv last year and mention the 50,000 people that died from the flu. i notice you are bumping up the numbers but not mentioning the obvious facts that are staring you in the face. all the hotspots are the ports.
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host: we will stop it there. guest: thanks for your question. i don't think your expertise in epidemiology is what i am going to rely on. if you look at what is going on, there is what we call community transmission. that means it is going from person-to-person. that is the way this virus is being transmitted in the united states. it is not a matter of importing these goods and distribute in goods and that is sending the virus around. it is human to human. of course in cities like new york or densely pop lidded areas where people are coming and going, that is going to
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naturally come out where there are more cases, there are more people, that is just a fact of epidemiology. i don't think that the materials being shipped in have had anything to do with the spread of this virus. this is a human to human spread. ♪ host: our last call is jim from north carolina. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. doctor, i have a son going to medical college and i talked to him about how doctors need to be going ahead and think differently and what i asked him is that tracking, is there any study going on or trying to come up with something to track as far as how far the disease is through blood, saliva, other ways? is somebody working on some that could put you on the downside of this? some kind of project like that? host: thank you. guest: that is a fabulous question. congratulations on your grandson.
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we need more doctors, we need more people on the front line. in terms of asking a great question which i have been raising, there are two aspects of testing we have to get done. first of all we have to be able to test people to see when they have symptoms, do they have the virus and unfortunately that has not gone as smoothly as any of us would like. we are the most advanced nation in the world. we could learn some lessons from this but we have to have done a better job. the next part of testing is spot on what you are suggesting. we have to be able to tell by looking at somebody's blood, as to whether or not you have recovered from the virus. we need to know how many people and that test is coming. there were loads of companies working on it.
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that is called the antibody test. the test now will tell you whether or not the virus is in your nose. the next test will tell you if you already have the virus and it is really important and we have to deploy that in large-scale because people who already had the virus, the belief is that they will be protected so they would feel more comfortable getting back to work or being on the front lines. we need to know who has already had the virus and that test is is that they would feel more comfortable coming back to work. we need to know who has had the virus. great question. host: graduate of cornell university and university of virginia. our guest is founder and ceo of pharmaceuticals
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joining us from home in westchester, new york. canhank you and hope we check in with you again as this virus continues to dominate our coverage. guest: i hope you will not need to, but i will be here. host: we begin with the john hopkins numbers, sobering numbers around the world with nearly 670,000 confirmed cases across the globe and over 30,000 approaching 31,000 deaths around the world. in the u.s. now close to 125 thousand confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the united states. we want to get to your phone calls. if you are recently unemployed, tell us your situation. this is a headline from cnbc. the u.s. economy has come to a standstill. reporting from cnbc, the coronavirus crisis is bringing the u.s. economy to a screeching halt, and every sector feeling

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