The United States is reserving $3.2 billion for the development of antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses. Health experts have been asking for a convenient medicine that people could take when symptoms first appear. According to the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci at a White House briefing last June 17, this action aims to expedite the things that are already in progress for COVID-19 and developing treatments for other dangerous viruses. “There are few treatments that exist for many of the viruses that have pandemic potential,” Fauci said, highlighting Ebola, dengue, West Nile, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The said budget will focus on speeding up the research, trials, development, and manufacturing of the medicines. 1.7 million doses of an experimental antiviral medicine from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics will be purchased if it will show good results, according to the US government. On the other hand, early research suggests that the antiviral medicine, molnupiravir, may decrease the risk of hospitalization if used right after infection by refraining the coronavirus from quickly reproducing. Conversely, the drug did not help patients who were already hospitalized with critical condition.

The currently available medicines from other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Roche, and AstraZeneca have mostly been shown to help with the prevention from hospitalization and shortening of recovery time by several days. Recently, the US has also allowed antiviral medicine remdesivir, which has to be given only for COVID-19 patients at hospitals or medical clinics.