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Too Fast

Governments — including the US and Russia — are expediting the use of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are without solid scientific data to back them up, the Economist writes

It notes, for instance, that the US Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine — a treatment touted by President Donald Trump — based on "limited in vitro and anecdotal clinical data" and that the EUA was later rescinded after studies showed hydroxychloroquine had no effect on COVID-19. 

More recently, the US issued an EUA for convalescent plasma therapy as a COVID-19 treatment, again with limited evidence, while Russia has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine that has yet to be fully tested, the Economist says. It notes that a concern is that these two approaches will also not pan out.

"That regulators move fast in emergencies is to be applauded," the Economist writes. "But these three examples have raised worries that sometimes they are moving too fast, and possibly for the wrong reasons."