First thing to note: a vaccine for SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) is still (probably) quite a long way off from being ready for commercial use. This is the only true "silver bullet" in the fight against the coronavirus. But in the meantime, the world might've stumbled upon something:
It's hit the news cycle that South Korea and some other countries are using a drug known as chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to treat the coronavirus in infected patients, with encouraging reports.
While many in the medical community are still skeptical (and for good reason), it has been effective in primate studies as a treatment against the original SARS, which of course is a related virus.
On the US scene, President Trump was immediately enthusiastic about the drug's potential in combating a crisis which has effectively paralyzed the entire US economy. But at this current stage of the news cycle maybe half of sources are ridiculing him for this; whether this will change later on, or whether this touted treatment might eventually be discredited, remains to be seen.
It appears that the treatment may be particularly risky in patients with certain commonplace conditions, such as diabetes, and those with kidney disease. It might also not be the best possible option for treatment. It is yet unknown what constitutes a safe dosage that will still be effective against the virus. And finally, how the economics and logistics of mass-supplying this drug to tens of thousands of patients across the country fare I have no idea. Though Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act (authorizing large-scale manufacturing for a purpose that the government deems necessary), It seems the federal government is still dragging its feet on actually responding to the outbreak on American soil.
The first piece of good news is that chloroquine has been around since World War II, meaning it is not a patented drug. There should be no legal obstacles to mass producing and distributing it.
In the meanwhile, the Trump administration has fast tracked "compassionate use" of this drug for very ill coronavirus patients, and in coming weeks may evolve into a systematic remedy.
The second piece of good news is that because this coronavirus is novel, it should demonstrate a novel reaction to antiviral treatment.
For example, penicillin quickly rendered many deadly diseases curable, but eventually new strains developed that were resistant to it and to similarly common drugs. Because SARS CoV-2 has only existed in humans for maybe 4 to 5 months, we should have many years, or even decades, of potent use of a treatment that shows itself initially effective, meaning streamlined and routine chloroquine therapy for the coronavirus should not risk viral resistance in the foreseeable short term.
The bad news is that this, assuming it works, will only reduce the fatality rate in those infected, not halt the spread of the virus. Millions might still end up infected, in which there might just not be enough treatment to go around. There is a huge shortage of testing equipment for new cases and by the time it's readied and delivered, demand will likely have outpaced the fresh supply.