U.S. to spend $3 billion for COVID-19 antiviral pills, official says

A microscope image shows the coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19.
(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories)

The United States is devoting more than $3 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19, according to an official briefed on the matter.

The pills, which would be used to minimize symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by year’s end, pending the completion of clinical trials.

The White House is scheduled to hold a briefing on its COVID-19 plans with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

News of the administration’s plans for the pill was first reported Thursday by the New York Times. The official who confirmed the report spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of an announcement.