How is my prediction about COVID-19 therapy by October looking?

From April 6, Best guess as to when the first successful COVID-19 therapy will be widely available?

Keeping in mind that it took months for coronavirus tests to be invented, approved, and manufactured (still not in sufficient quantities except for those who are hospitalized), what’s your best guess as to when you can go into the hospital ED, have the nurse shout out “COVID-19” and then an assistant comes in with some pills or a shot that will keep the symptoms down to some reasonable level of misery?

My guess: between July 2020 and March 2021, with October 2020 as the best single month guess.

How do we rate this prediction? I’m going to go with “Spectacularly wrong.” I started the April 6 post with “I’m a big believer that viruses are smarter than human beings.” Even with that, I was gulled into thinking that all of the world’s humans devoting nearly 100 percent of their energy to fighting coronavirus would actually be able to come up with something.

What do we have? From October 22, “FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19”:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care. Veklury is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive FDA approval.

Mission Accomplished?

A second randomized, open-label multi-center clinical trial of hospitalized adult subjects with moderate COVID-19 compared treatment with Veklury for five days (n=191) and treatment with Veklury for 10 days (n=193) with standard of care (n=200). Researchers evaluated the clinical status of subjects on Day 11. Overall, the odds of a subject’s COVID-19 symptoms improving were statistically significantly higher in the five-day Veklury group at Day 11 when compared to those receiving only standard of care. The odds of improvement with the 10-day treatment group when compared to those receiving only standard of care were numerically favorable, but not statistically significantly different.

In other words, you need multiple studies and a Zoom session full of statisticians to tease out any useful effect.

Does GB get the prize for accuracy so far? His comment:

Some of the fat and lung comprised will die and the rest will be cured, by virtue of not already being unhealthy. Medical cure, nope, modern medicine ain’t that good.

Who wants to make a new or revised prediction of when medicine will simply cure us of Covid-19?


  • A typical failure… “Lilly Statement Regarding NIH’s ACTIV-3 Clinical Trial” (October 26): Based on an updated dataset from the trial reviewed on October 26, no additional COVID-19 patients in this hospitalized setting will receive bamlanivimab. This recommendation was based on trial data suggesting that bamlanivimab is unlikely to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from this advanced stage of their disease. In this updated dataset, differences in safety outcomes between the groups were not significant.

5 thoughts on “How is my prediction about COVID-19 therapy by October looking?

  1. My prediction: there will be a wide assortment of treatments, vaccines, etc. developed in 2021, 2022, 2023, … with hype, testing, approval and production availability in various stages. Five to ten to twenty years down the road we will be able to look back and see that – of the treatment options available at any given time – 10% will turn out to be helpful, 80% more-or-less unhelpful but not that harmful, and 10% actually harmful. However, the benefit/harm classification would have been hard to discern at the time, when there would have enthusiastic proponents for each available option.

  2. My prediction is “never,” because COVID-19 is primarily a plot device, not an illness. There’s nothing medicine can do about governments’ refusal to let it go.

    • I gotta change my answer. They are going to cure Covid-19 with some horrible aluminum filled vaccine, and you will know it works because the nice lady on the news says it works. But unfortunately the Covid-19 vaccine will not work on the newly mutated super disease known as Covid-21. Covid-21 will be super contagious and super dangerous(affecting and killing the same number of people the flu or pneumonia usually do although for some reason the flu and pneumonia have disappeared.) Back inside for another year and tighten down the face suffocaters.

  3. The monoclonal antibody treatments have very promising initial data. The date to guess is “when will the FDA approve these for widespread use”, and the other important factors are (1) how expensive will it be and (2) will they be able to manufacture enough to really save a lot of lives and get ICU usage under control.

  4. Since Remdesivir is supposed to target specifically the alien RNA replication used by SARS-Cov-2 (and similar viruses), the poor trial results are disappointing. Either #Science ( is wrong or the drug is not being delivered effectively. An article in the Lancet posits that it works if administered before the patient is known to be infected, which is a Catch-22 if ever there was.

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