Zuckerberg, Gates team up to contribute $25M for research into coronavirus treatments

Facebook founder Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergZuckerberg says Facebook to review policies over use of force, voter suppression amid criticism Twitter removes Trump campaign tribute to George Floyd claiming copyright complaint On The Money: Initial jobless claims drop to 1.9 million | IRS faces obstacles with remaining stimulus checks | Nearly half of Americans have lost income over coronavirus MORE and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, are teaming up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to donate $25 million toward research on possible coronavirus treatments.

"I'm really proud to share that [the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is] going to be joining Gates and others to put together something they're calling the therapeutics accelerator to fight coronavirus," Chan told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle KingGayle KingCBS's Gayle King to host live call-in radio show on coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats delay convention over coronavirus Fauci dismisses death threats: 'It's my job' MORE.

Chan told King that their goal is "to fund a group to screen all the drugs that we know have potential effects against coronavirus." 


Zuckerberg elaborated on the objective, saying that one drug can often be used to treat multiple diseases. 

"You can basically take all those drugs that have already been screened as safe and test them to see if they might also have a positive impact for either preventing the coronavirus or reducing the symptoms and making it less damaging," he said.

To Zuckerberg's point, New York is already testing hydroxychloroquine — a proven anti-malarial drug — with the antibiotic azithromycin to see if the combo can be an effective treatment for COVID-19. The combination proved effective in a small, controversial study in France, but there has yet to be widespread testing on the possible treatment option.