Trump's COVID treatments: Dexamethasone, remdesivir and Regeneron explained

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U.S. President Donald Trump announced early on Friday, Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

This animation explains the medications Trump's doctors say the president has been taking for COVID-19.

1. COVID infection
2. Oxygen therapy
3. Dexamethasone and side effects
4. How monoclonal antibody therapy works
5. How remdesivir antiviral works
6. Other medications

VOICEOVER (in English):

"White House physician Sean Conley said during a briefing on Sunday that the president was given dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a steroid that calms the immune system."

"This is important in the second phase of a coronavirus infection, when the immune system can go 'haywire' and start attacking the organs, a dangerous overreaction called a 'cytokine storm.'"

"The World Health Organization says the steroid can help those who are seriously ill with COVID-19. It has been shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support."

"The WHO advises using the steroid in 'severe and critical' cases. Trump's blood oxygen levels fell to 93 percent, and he was given supplemental oxygen along with dexamethasone."

"Opponents have suggested Trump could be mentally incapacitated because of the effects of dexamethasone, citing a video he made in which he said he 'learned a lot' about coronavirus."

"Side effects include anxiety, mood changes and cognitive impairment. But these are common only in patients who have taken the steroid for a longer period of time."

"The White House said on Friday that Trump was given monoclonal antibody therapy, a cocktail of antibodies made by the company Regeneron that mimic an immune system response."

"The antibodies bind to the spike proteins that coat the virus, hindering its ability to infect human cells. They also make it easier for the immune system to recognize the virus."

"These monoclonals are an investigational cocktail. Clinical trials have been ongoing since June."
"Doctors treating Donald Trump at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said on Saturday that Trump had been Gilead's remdesivir, a drug first developed as a treatment for Ebola."

"Remdesivir is an antiviral and a nucleoside analogue, or a chemical compound that is structurally similar to naturally occurring nucleosides. During replication, remdesivir could trick the polymerase into mistaking the antiviral drug, which resembles adenosine, for the genuine article."

"After this happens, the antiviral is taken into the new RNA strand and stops the polymerase from replicating more of the RNA, which should suppress the virus.

"Clinical trials have shown the drug cuts the duration of symptoms from 15 days down to 11."

"Trump's doctors say the president is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin."

"It is not known if he is taking any of these for COVID-19."

SOURCES: WHO, New York Times, Washington Post, Regeneron, CNN