After clearing clinical trials stem cell therapy could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.


Unconfirmed, whilst many treatments are being investigated there is no known cure yet for COVID-19.


This video is an episode of Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Common Sense’ programme. Giuliani is the former Mayor of New York and prominent member of President Trump’s administration, acting as an attorney for the President. In the video Giuliani interviews Dr. Robert Hariri, a neuroscientist and specialist in stem cell treatments.

Dr Hariri runs a stem cell research company called Human Longevity. Stem cell research is a controversial but potentially promising field of restorative medicine that could be used to combat degenerative diseases like cancer. Stem cells are ‘pluripotent cells’ which can become any sort of cell (muscle, bone, etc) that the body needs. Stem cell research can be controversial as stem cells are usually harvested from the placenta or umbilical cord of a fetus. Dr Hairi claims that his company is applying to the FDA to begin human trials for a stem cell therapy treatment. Patients with COVID-19 in these trials would be given an infusion of natural killer cells, which will cure the infection by targeting the ‘stress antigen’ that is emitted by virally infected cells. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell and a component of innate immune system

This is unconfirmed, there is no known cure or treatment for the COVID-19 illness. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are currently being tested through clinical trials. The WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. Whilst there is urgency in looking for an effective treatment for the respiratory illness, scientific trials take time and patient safety must not be compromised by giving patients an untested treatment. 


WHO: Q&A on coronavirus (COVID-19)

WHO: “Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments 

BBC: Coronavirus cure: when will we have a drug to treat it?

New York Times: Unproven stem cell therapy gets ok for testing in coronavirus patients

Origins of Claim


“Have you done any testing of any kind regarding attacking these viral cells with the killer cells?”

“Yes, although this specific coronavirus, there are no animal models that you can test, or what we call in vitro models that you can use yet. What we did was look at other virally infected cells, and what we saw was clear evidence that these viruses can be identifiable by natural killer cells, and can be attacked… In our lab we showed that our natural killer cells will attack and kill these virally infected cells… If we see the kind of results that we’re hoping for, which is well-tolerated, no safety concerns and patients are showing any improvement in any of these parameters, we’re going to work with the FDA to increase the total number of people who get access.”