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Obama resists fast-tracking Ebola drug, but new test cleared

Obama Resists Fast-Tracking Ebola Drug, But New Test Cleared

The same day that President Obama told reporters at a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that the he wasn't ready to share any experimental Ebola treatments with West Africa, the FDA has approved a diagnostic test for the devastating virus.

​"I think we gotta let the science guide us, and you know I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful." (Video via C-SPAN)

The drug Obama is talking about is called ZMapp and it was used to treat two Americans infected with Ebola before they were brought back to the States from West Africa.

According to WebMD, ZMapp takes a long time to produce partly because of the the weeks it takes to grow its ingredients. That, combined with it's lack of FDA approval, means it's not quite ready for mass production.

But even with Obama's announcement, it appears the FDA at least fast-tracked a diagnostic test for the virus.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a previously unapproved Ebola test has been authorized by the FDA under a "special emergency-use provision" - although an actual vaccine is still a ways off with officials saying one won't be available until 2015.

The diagnostic test is meant to detect the Zaire strain of Ebola, the same one that has infected more than 1,700 and killed as many as 932 people in Sierra Leon, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.

​A statement provided to health care workers by the FDA says it was authorized because, "At this time, no FDA-approved/cleared tests that identify the existence of the Ebola Zaire virus ... in clinical specimens are available."

A new test is definitely a good start, but are there any treatments besides ZMapp on the horizon?

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released a statement saying that the National Institutes of Health is working on developing one and it's "aiming to launch phase 1 clinical trials ... in the fall."

The statement also said that two other companies, Tekmira and Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, are being funded by the Department of Defense to develop therapeutic treatments while a third, Newlink, is working on a vaccine.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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pineconeposter4 August 07 2014 at 8:35 PM

Since the infected people are going to die, I doubt they'd have a problem drinking drano if it could possibly help them. Let's not be shy on experimenting.

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globe2see August 07 2014 at 1:55 PM

The US Department of Defense wants this virus for a biological weapon, so it does not want to share the zMapp vaccine. It is not a theory of paranoia. Look at the cold war development of a super strain of small pox. We are such a redeemable human species, especially our governmental war mongering leaders. Of course the Tyrant of Syria would love to get his hands on it so he could use it against his people, so would North Korea. Too bad the virus isn't selective against ego-maniac war mongers. The world would a be such a nicer place to live.

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rocker August 07 2014 at 7:16 PM

WOW I FEEL REALLY SAFE THAT THE FDA WHICH STANDS FOR FEDERAL DUMB ASSES HOW MANY DRUGS HAVE THE FAD APPROVED AND 1 YEAR LATER WHEN DOZENS OF PEOPLE DIED AND THE LAWYERS RUN ADS HAVE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW DIED FROM ========

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cooltool50 August 07 2014 at 3:59 AM

Go figure!!!!!!!!! King Obama asked how you can fast-track a drug in my kingdom.

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youlooksofineqt August 08 2014 at 11:11 AM

The POTUS is being cautious in not sharing an "experimental drug" for Ebola with the rest of the world.

We cannot circumvent FDA approval & just inject solutions which didn't go through rigorous testing & clinical trials. The CDC released ZMapp to the 2 American missionaries and given in West Africa, not the US. The FDA is domestic & has no control over African medicine.

Once they develope a vaccine for Ebola virus, they can also jumpstart the research for a vaccine for HIV1 in the US & HIV2 for Africa. They were identified in 1981 & 1986. AIDS is still a big problem in the US. Two Ebola patients was transported here, the virus is not indigenous to the US.

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1 reply
youlooksofineqt youlooksofineqt August 08 2014 at 11:23 AM

were transported*

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Martooooon August 08 2014 at 8:06 AM

Maybe he will issue another Executive order for Ebola not to come to the USA?
Doctor Obama is a medical Guru. Just look at our ACA.

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adenes6068 August 07 2014 at 9:17 PM

Well, I think we should all find a dark, arched room somewhere with lots of candles, get down on our knees, fold our hands and plead with "Sky Daddy" to make it all better. That always seemed to make a huge difference in the past didn't it? Awwww man, don't tell me...

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globe2see August 07 2014 at 1:59 PM

Monsanto is a human MENACE and should be abolished! The company wants to have absolute control over food production and other human needs and have armed their company to the teeth with lawyers to do so!

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goodgrief61945 August 07 2014 at 1:10 PM

Wonder how many people the seventy people already exposed, have passed the disease to.

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elvis August 07 2014 at 11:10 AM

fear mongering, ebola the new boogey man, don't take deadly shots,it's all propaganda!!!

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