Local COVID-19 Survivor Shares Experience With Remdesivir

A Tierrasanta grandfather said the Remdesivir trial he underwent saved his life. President Donald Trump is receiving five courses of Remdesivir, according to his physician.

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It's been six months since a Tierrasanta grandfather participated in a Remdesivir trial after testing positive for COVID-19 back in April. Remdesivir is one of the same antiviral medications President Donald Trump is being treated with for his coronavirus diagnosis.

Rich Pickett was one of the first COVID-19 cases in San Diego County and was admitted into the hospital April 1.

"When I went in, I signed a ‘do not resuscitate’ [form], because I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Pickett said. He had been battling a high fever and was having difficulty breathing.

“Right when I went in there (hospital), the first day they did hydroxychloroquine and the z pack and then they pulled me off those totally for over a day so I’d be eligible to participate in the Remdesivir IV trial,” said Pickett.

He said his wife signed him up for a 10-day trial of Remdesivir in a desperate attempt for Pickett to recover.

“I believe it had a significant impact on my survival,” said Pickett.

According to the president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, the commander in chief is on a five-day course of Remdesivir.

“It primarily reduces that viral load in the body, so it prevents it from replicating at the same rate it was doing before having Remdesivir,” Pickett explained.

The President’s physician said Trump also received a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron's antibody cocktail.

“It’s interesting they’re doing experimental treatment on him, because obviously they must’ve thought; A. The drugs are very effective and B. It was worth any risk for the president’s health,” said Pickett.

Regeneron was released to him under “compassionate use,” which is an approval process through the FDA for those requesting the drug outside of clinical trials. Regeneron’s co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer, George Yancopoulos, said the cocktail can play a pivotal role in recovery.

“We could, with a single injection with a couple of days, dramatically lower the viral level by 100 fold, by 99 percent,” said Yancopoulos.

As for Pickett, he said he saw his doctor a little more than a week ago and was happy to hear his lungs are fully recovered.

“I feel great, you know, and everybody’s different, so you can’t say my success might be someone else’s success,” said Pickett.

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