Public health experts on Monday raised alarm over President Donald Trump\u0026#039;s overstating of the efficacy of convalescent plasma and his suggestion that the Food and Drug Administration purposefully held up approval of the potential Covid-19 treatment just before the agency authorized its expanded use.\u0026nbsp;The FDA gave emergency approval for the use of antibody-rich plasma on Sunday, a day after the president publicly suggested—with no evidence and not for the first time—that \u0022the deep state, or whoever\u0022 at the agency was slowing down the approval process to harm his reelection chances.\u0026nbsp;The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it\u0026nbsp;very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are\u0026nbsp;hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives! @SteveFDA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2020\u0022By bludgeoning the FDA with his conspiracy theory, Trump will make whatever the agency does now look like it is being shaped by his political pressure on it,\u0022 wrote Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent.\u0026nbsp;At Stat News, reporter Ed Silverman called the president\u0026#039;s remarks \u0022terribly wrongheaded\u0022 and suggested they could ultimately endanger public health.Comments like Trump\u0026#039;s \u0022continually raise the specter of political interference with a key agency during a severe public health crisis,\u0022 Silverman wrote. \u0022Who would trust a vaccine that is being rushed out the door just so Trump can say he delivered what everyone wants as soon as possible? His tweets are about his reelection, not our well-being.\u0022Public health experts say studies conducted so far have shown that convalescent plasma, taken from coronavirus patients who have recovered from Covid-19 and have high levels of antibodies, shows promise as a potential treatment for the illness, which has killed more than 170,000 people in the United States.\u0026nbsp;The treatment has only been used on 70,000 patients so far, however, and has only shown to provide benefits for some of them, \u0022lessening the severity or shortening the length of Covid-19 illness\u0022 in certain people after they are hospitalized.Typically, the FDA requires broader randomized trials before approving a drug or treatment, and skipping over that step could undermine confidence in treatments or vaccines that eventually prove more effective, experts said Monday.Dr. Eric Topol, a scientist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, told the Post that he watched \u0022in horror\u0022 on Sunday as Trump was joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn as he declared that convalescent plasma is \u0022a major therapeutic breakthrough.\u0022\u0026nbsp;\u0022These are basically just exploratory analyses that don\u0026#039;t prove anything,\u0022 Topol said of the studies that exist so far of plasma. \u0022It\u0026#039;s just extraordinary to declare this as a breakthrough... All this does is jeopardize ever getting the truth.\u0022Trump claimed the use of convalescent plasma has been \u0022proven to reduce mortality by 35%,\u0022 a claim which shocked scientists and doctors familiar with the studies.\u0026nbsp;The research has actually shown that certain patients younger than 80 who were given plasma with high levels of antibodies within three days of diagnosis were about 35% more likely to survive at least a month than patients who received plasma with lower levels of antibodies, according to the FDA.\u0022This is categorically wrong,\u0022 tweeted Dr. Rachel Clarke, a British palliative care physician. \u0022The reduction is at most 3.5%—in a poorly designed study with no control arm.\u0022This piece repeats the FDA’s claim that convalescent plasma\u0026nbsp;reduce #COVID19 mortality by\u0026nbsp;35%. This is categorically wrong. The reduction is at most 3.5% - in a poorly designed study with no control arm.\u0026nbsp;Trump’s politicised FDA debases science. https://t.co/CP1wBtpuKA— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) August 24, 2020Other experts also corrected the president on social media.\u0026nbsp;This \u002235% mortality reduction\u0022 is a very misleading\u0026nbsp;figure.The study compared early vs late plasma therapy; not a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of plasma vs\u0026nbsp;placebo.AND, the absolute difference in mortality was ONLY 11.9% – 8.7% = 3.2%, NOT 35%.https://t.co/7P5ivnZvva https://t.co/v8bjKD8Hhm\u0026nbsp;pic.twitter.com/KKZHHzSpm2— Dr. Safa Mote (@SafaMote)\u0026nbsp;August 24, 2020Both HHS Secretary and FDA Commissioner misled folks about the\u0026nbsp;convalescent plasma study at the press conference. 35% was not CP vs control in any trial. It was CP early vs late. Not a\u0026nbsp;trial! It’s beginning to sound like rushed HCQ drama all over again. #COVID19 https://t.co/twx3BvYhXS— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) August 24, 2020The president\u0026#039;s claims about plasma were \u0022beginning to sound like rushed [hydroxychloroquine] drama all over again,\u0022 tweeted epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, referring to the president\u0026#039;s promotion of the anti-malarial drug earlier this year. Hydroxychloroquine has not been shown to effectively treat or prevent the coronavirus in randomized, controlled studies, but the FDA gave emergency authorization to the drug earlier this year after the president aggressively pushed the medication as a treatment and claimed to take it as a prophyalctic. The FDA revoked the authorization in June, but Trump and his supporters have continued to promote its use, particularly on social media.\u0026nbsp;\u0026nbsp;While classifying the use of convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19 as an \u0022interesting strategy,\u0022 Carlos del Rio of the Emory School of Medicine said Monday that the president\u0026#039;s claim that it is a \u0022breakthrough\u0022 should not be taken at face value.\u0026nbsp;\u0022The problem is, the president, in my mind, has lost total credibility because of what he\u0026#039;s done with hydroxychloroquine,\u0022 del Rio told the Post. \u0022He\u0026#039;s touted so many things that don\u0026#039;t work. The reality is what we have today to treat Covid is extremely limited.\u0022The authorization for the expanded use of plasma comes as the White House is insisting a coronavirus vaccine could be approved in the U.S. before phase three trials—the final studies of a drug before it is approved for the marketplace—are complete. White House officials reportedly told Democratic leaders that the administration may approve a vaccine as early as September, even though phase three trials for a vaccine developed by U.K.-based pharma company AstraZeneca just began in the U.S. days ago. Trump\u0026#039;s campaign advisers reportedly refer to a pre-election vaccine as \u0022the holy grail.\u0022While public health experts are hoping life-saving Covid-19 treatments and vaccines are discovered as soon as possible, tweeted University of Washington biology professor Carl Bergstrom, Trump\u0026#039;s political interference in the scientific process of testing treatments raises concerns about misinformation in the president\u0026#039;s claims.To be clear, I don\u0026#039;t have a position on whether convalescent plasma is safe or effective. It\u0026#039;s presumably somewhat safe and there\u0026#039;s reason to hope for efficacy.What upsets me is the political interference. And Trump doesn\u0026#039;t have a good record of suggested treatments!— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) August 24, 2020What\u0026#039;s clear, between this announcement, the HHS power play over FDA, Trump\u0026#039;s recent tweets, and the long-term pattern of interference, is that Trump sees it as fair game to push misinformation about coronavirus therapies and vaccines so long as it helps him get re-elected.— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) August 24, 2020\u0022Infectious disease epidemiologists find ourselves in the odd position of criticizing as irresponsible claims that we desperately hope to be true,\u0022 Bergstrom said.