I have concerns.
Legal Insurrection fans will note that I have often asserted that more focus should be given to developing treatments for COVID-19 options and making them readily available to the public. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been doing just that, by opening monoclonal antibody treatment centers.
Initially, DeSantis was slammed for this approach, but the media may have to backtrack on the attacks. It turns out the godlet of COVID, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has deemed the treatment effective.
The US government is buying more doses of monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid-19, and the Biden administration is taking over distribution in order to avoid shortages of the key therapeutics.
The moves come as demand for monoclonal antibodies has increased as cases surged due to spread of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in some areas of the country.
Monoclonal antibodies are lab-engineered immune system proteins that kickstart an immune response against an infection. The US Department of Health and Human Services says that as of September 10, 2.17 million doses of monoclonal antibodies have been shipped to all sites, and 938,000 doses have been used since December. About 43% of the distributed doses have been used as of September 3.
An HHS spokesperson said seven states have accounted for 70% of orders for the therapy. Those seven states are Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.
“Given this reality, we must work to ensure our supply of these life-saving therapies remains available for all states and territories, not just some,” the HHS spokesperson said.
I will fight like hell to overcome Biden’s cruel decision to drastically reduce lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments for Floridians. We've seen steep reductions in hospital admissions due to early treatment efforts. It’s wrong to penalize Florida for his partisan bitterness. pic.twitter.com/24APj0r50K
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 17, 2021
I have concerns. My chief problem is that the states that have embraced the treatment approach are red. I am worried that the new distribution plan might be weighted against such regions.
I am not the only one, either.
That move by President Biden triggered fears over the feds limiting supply of the therapy, according to a statement issued by DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw.
“It appears the Biden Administration is already breaking this crucial promise, by moving forward with new restrictions on the supply of monoclonal antibody treatment to Florida…We are working to ensure that the supply of monoclonal antibody treatment in Florida remains adequate to meet the needs of patients in our state,” she said.
In Florida, a private company called CourMed, has launched a “concierge” service that conveniently offers home delivery of the treatment, administered by nurses.
Derrick Miles, CourMed’s founder and CEO, said in an email to the Phoenix that he’s concerned about shortages but the company “can still provide our concierge service of monoclonal antibody infusion therapy in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties until supplies run out.”
Furthermore, the Biden administration does not have a good track record of success on any issue. There are already reports that people are being turned away for treatment.
In Texas, the Department of State Health Services alerted monoclonal antibody providers of HHS’s warning that “the national supply has considerably decreased and states should expect lower amounts of therapeutics available for shipment in the coming weeks,” according to Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health department.
In Tennessee, Bill Christian, a health department spokesman, said in an email that some people have been turned away because of delays in receiving shipments of the medication.
“HHS is reviewing all orders and as a result, facilities cannot anticipate shipments for scheduling patients. Instead, patients are being turned away, and appointments are canceled due to a lack of clarity on when treatment will be available,” Christian wrote.
In Mississippi, a state department of health spokeswoman said in an email that the state already allocates its medication based on how much each site is using and has enough on hand for now.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday:
“Just seven states are making up 70 percent of the orders. Our supply is not unlimited and we believe it should be equitable across states,” Psaki said.
“I think our role as the government overseeing the entire country is to be equitable in how we distribute. We’re not going to give a greater percentage to Florida over Oklahoma,” she said.
Can I believe that Biden would act to undercut a successful, younger rival and arrange a new “needs test” based on political rather than public health issues? Do I believe that the occupant of the White House could completely discount the potential adverse impact of this move on millions of Red State Americans?
To quote an iconic Republican politician: You betcha!DONATE
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