Rep. Josh Gottheimer test results for COVID-19 was negative, the congressman announced March 28.
Gottheimer was in self-quarantine since March 20, when he learned that Mike Maron, CEO of Holy Name Medical Center, tested positive for COVID-19. The congressman, who attended a press conference with Maron on March 15, was advised to get tested by his doctors despite the fact he had no symptoms.
Gottheimer worked from home during the self-quarantine, including holding a virtual town hall on March 27 and working with North Jersey health officials on their needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the issues he has worked on is getting Gilead Sciences to expand the use of investigational COVID-19 drug remdesivir to patients who need it.
“Lives throughout New Jersey and across America are depending on it,” Gottheimer said in a press statement.
The North Jersey congressman reported the company is denying access to remdesivir to patients suffering from extreme symptoms of the disease, citing the case of a 34-year-old Bergenfield father of two who is currently “fighting for his life” due to extreme COVID-19 complications.
The company confirmed it stopped considering individual emergency requests for remdesivir, except in certain circumstances, as it grapples with overwhelming demand.
The move is part of Gilead’s overhaul of the process for doctors requesting emergency use of the experimental drug remdesivir outside of clinical trials. Gilead said it is making the changes because it can’t handle all the requests it is getting, and hoping the revamping will eventually speed up the process and expand access to more patients.
Gottheimer noted he has been a strong supporter of the life sciences and pharmaceutical work, especially those in his district.
“Now is the time for companies to expand their efforts and strengthen their commitment to effectively treating more patients, helping develop the cures we need, and provide access to those who need it most,” he stated.