Among emerging coronavirus viruses, the “future direction” will be in developing “powerful antivirals” that act directly on the SARS-CoV-2 virus on Monday, Drs. Anthony Fauci said. Fauci, who attended the White House’s COVID-19 briefing, said the nation would need to adopt a therapeutic approach similar to “a highly successful drug development program for HIV and hepatitis C”.

To do this, Fauci stated that work would have to be done to identify weak targets within the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle.

“This is going to be the direction of the future,” he said, later the FDA also released updated guidance for medical product developers on Monday addressing variant concerns regarding vaccines, therapeutics and testing.

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Fauci said that while many treatments have already received emergency use authorization, more work has to be done to specifically address advanced disease. Currently accepted therapeutics typically rely on early intervention to see the best results.

The briefing was held before a moment of silence for the nearly 500,000 Americans killed by the virus, led by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky said the nation was seeing progress in dropping new case rates and was hospitalized by serious milestones.

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“While the epidemic is moving in the right direction, we still have a lot of work to do,” she said, including returning in-person instruction to students in a safe manner.