Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced that he would be obtaining doses of the lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments on his own and bypassing President Joe Biden’s move to take care of the distribution in the country as he sees fit. He shared with media sources that he has obtained supplies of Regeneron from the drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen, despite facing roadblocks from the Biden administration. Monoclonal antibodies have been highly effective in preventing hospitalizations among people with mild to moderate COVID-19, but the government has decided that they will be the ones to distribute it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had announced a similar move last week and obtained doses of the treatment for Florida residents, including more than 3,000 doses of the GlaxoSmithKline antibody treatment product, sutrovimab. The order will serve as a supplement until the state receives a later shipment from the federal government of 18,000 Regeneron treatments. More states are becoming independent and disconnecting from the politically motivated Biden administration and their “one-size-fits-all” vaccine strategy.
President Biden even took over distribution of the COVID-19 treatment, purchasing about 1.4 million additional doses. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services will set the rules for the antibodies instead of letting the states, medical facilities, and doctors order them directly. An HHS spokesman shared that the agency will determine the amount of product per state and the territory that receives it on a weekly basis. They claimed it would maintain “equitable distribution” across the country by providing states and territories with a “consistent, fairly distributed supply.”
Other states are also looking to offer alternative monoclonal antibody treatments as President Biden continues to set the limit on what states can and cannot purchase. President Biden even announced that he would be cutting the distribution of these antibody treatments to red states such as Florida, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana.
President Biden tried to claim that these states are “compromising too big a share of the supply” in recent weeks and that the treatments need to be distributed more “equitably” across the open market. Even Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health department, warned providers that the national supply has “considerably decreased” and that states should expect to see a lower number of treatments available for shipment in the coming weeks.
But many hospitals are under tremendous stress because of the Order. Alabama physicians are worried that the federal efforts will end up cutting their supply and access to the treatment. A DeSantis spokeswoman called it “regrettable” that the Biden administration would play politics and withhold a life-saving treatment during a pandemic.
Gov. Abbott announced the move to bypass the Biden Administration’s limit and obtain their own supplies of the monoclonal antibody treatment, adding that Texans who test positive for COVID-19 will now have access to “proven, effective treatments.” He said this gives the state of Texas the chance to work around the limitations that President Biden tries to set on them.
“In order to get these monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments, you do need to test positive for COVID. But if you do, this is a way of getting a treatment in a way that you will not (most likely) not be hospitalized, or have to go to a hospital or anything like that,” Abbott said.
Abbott also pledged to protecting and preserving the border in Texas, even without the guidance or help of President Biden. Other border states have also said that the Biden administration’s policies lacked guidance on how they can access federal supplies and carry out their jobs.
The monoclonal antibody treatment has been offered free to Americans and used for many years with safe studies, which is quite different than a vaccine with one year of testing and zero long-term studies.