AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI - 4-17-2020

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020

UPDATE ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC

POSSIBLE TREATMENT DRUG FOR CORONAVIRUS
SHOWS SUCCESS IN CHICAGO HOSPITAL

President Niccollai reported today on a factual situation concerning patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms making unusually rapid recovery, after being treated with the drug Remdesivir as part of a trial program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  Obviously, an effective treatment would be a huge deal, and could create a path to open the economy before a successful vaccine is developed.  Also, a treatment program like Remdesivir is safer and more achievable since we only need doses to be given to the people being treated, as opposed to a vaccine which must be given to the total population.

Gilead Sciences, the Company that developed this drug, has also used it to treat SARS and MERS successfully, which are two other Coronaviruses.

The University of Chicago Medical Center reported those most severe cases treated saw fevers reduced quickly; people come off ventilators in a day and go home from the hospital within six days.  This drug may be the game changer for which we have all hoped and prayed.

Notwithstanding this possible good news, we cannot relax our guard and we certainly can’t stop all the safety protections which we have adopted, and those put in place by our Government and Employers.

Your Local Union has been listening to some members’ uneasiness about loss of Health Care for those not working because of personal concerns or concerns about family members who are at high risk.  We are in the process of getting extensions of Health Care coverage going forward for short periods of time from our Employers to cover those situations.

Understandably, your Union is getting a high volume of phone calls and emails from our members with questions and problems.  We are also handling issues with our Employers that need resolution.

Please continue to work smartly and safely and, hopefully, the medical research community will continue to develop solutions which will ultimately allow our lifestyle to return to some semblance of normalcy.