DC – The news circulating wildly that President Trump's medical treatment for COVID-19 included therapies developed using embryonic stem cells and thereby destroying human life in the process are false, two medical scholars are saying on record.
Instead, the experimentation was done on mouse embryonic cell lines and blood from recovered SARS-COV-2 patients.
David Prentice, Ph.D., and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., of the Charlotte Lozier Institute issued the following statement in response to the false information:
Uninformed commentary has emerged this morning stating that President Trump has received a medication created with the use of human embryonic stem cells. CLI has reviewed the published information and our conclusion is straightforward: The president was not given any medicines to treat COVID-19 that involved the destruction of human life. No human embryonic stem cells or human fetal tissue were used to produce the treatments President Trump received–period. Let’s look at the facts.
The Regeneron therapy given to the president was made in Velocimmune humanized mice, a novel platform that uses genetically modified mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to generate antibodies described here and here. Development of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is detailed in the journal Science, describing how they identified their antibodies made from Velocimmune mice and blood from recovered patients previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. The final antibody pair used in the REGN-COV2 therapy cocktail was then produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Results from Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 clinical trials to treat COVID-19 patients are reported here.
Mouse embryonic stem cells and genetic modifications to make such mice date back to 1981, have been extensively studied, and were instrumental in the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, another fully ethical alternative to fetal material, as discussed in this Nature review. iPSCs are much easier to use than human embryonic stem cells, more flexible in their uses, and are not ethically controversial. No one has ever advocated against using mouse embryonic stem cells for development of therapies – only against destruction of human lives.
And finally, the anti-viral medicine remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid dexamethasone, also given to the president to treat COVID-19, are chemicals—no cells of any kind were used to produce these medicines.
These facts reinforce this truth: Ethical treatments are saving lives every day–including the president of the United States.