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Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) is demanding in a letter to know why the Biden administration and Human Health and Services are rationing monoclonal antibodies in Texas and across the nation and why they aren’t stepping up manufacturing of the life-saving treatment.
He sent the letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday. In it, Roy also demanded to know why there was a shortage of it in the first place.
He claims to have three questions that he says “should not be hard” for HHS to answer.
“My recurring inquiries as discussed in multiple letters and reiterated over a bicameral congressional briefing led by your Department on September 17, 2021, have been focused on a few main questions: 1) Is there, or has there ever been a shortage of any monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.? If so, which treatments? 2) Is there an expected shortage of any monoclonal antibody treatment in the U.S; and If so, which treatments? 3) What is the U.S.’s manufacturing capacity for monoclonal antibody treatments?” Roy inquired.
Roy noted that COVID cases are increasing across the country and that Omicron is now the dominant variant. He went on to assert that only one monoclonal antibody, Sotrovimab, “appears to be working” for those who contract the strain.
The congressman also charged that “in Texas, including in Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and the Houston area, sites have completely run out of Sotrovimab and have no choice but to wait without recourse because your Department has taken full control of the supply chain.”
"In Texas … sites have completely run out of Sotrovimab and have no choice but to wait without recourse because [HHS] has taken full control of the supply chain."
Yet the Biden admin has refused to be transparent about its monoclonal antibody rationing.
It's time for ANSWERS! pic.twitter.com/kh78WyQWfy
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) December 30, 2021
A doctor in Maryland reports that he had to cancel monoclonal antibody infusions for about 250 people over the last week after the federal government stopped distributing treatments because they aren’t effective against the Omicron variant, according to Fox News. They do not have Sotrovimab available to them there, evidently.
The CDC originally said Omicron was responsible for 73.2% of all new cases. But they backtracked on that estimate, revising it down to just 22.5%, a more than 50-point drop.
“I am as angry as I possibly can be about this,” Dr. Ron Elfenbein, the medical director and CEO of FirstCall Medical Center in Gambrills, Maryland, told Fox News Digital Wednesday.
“The fact that these people are so adamant that they’re right when they’re using faulty data and they’re using faulty logic and frankly statistical modeling that has never been correct, ever, throughout this entire pandemic, to look at this, is just beyond the pale…. People are definitely going to die because of this or need hospitalization because [health officials] misread the statistics,” he proclaimed.
As Roy’s letter points out, the Sotrovimab website warns on the home page that “GSK has entered into a contract with the U.S. government to purchase Sotrovimab. Sotrovimab is not available for commercial purchase at this time. More details of government-directed distribution will be provided in the coming weeks.”
Unbelievably, the MacArthur Medical Center in Irving, Texas is declaring that “Latin X or Black” patients will automatically qualify for monoclonal antibody treatments. But those who are white must qualify by being obese, having heart disease, or being 65 or older.
Denied medical service because of my race. pic.twitter.com/FgtO3oiSPG
— Harrison Hill Smith (@Harrison_of_TX) November 13, 2021
Monoclonal antibody treatment only available for blacks and Hispanics. Fucking insane.
— Harrison Hill Smith (@Harrison_of_TX) November 13, 2021
New York is in a similar position with HHS apparently discriminating on the basis of race.
NY State Department of Health warns they don't have enough Paxlovid or Monoclonal Antibody Treatment and white people need not apply. https://t.co/shbMWDomLJ pic.twitter.com/MwBtjv2pDx
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) December 31, 2021
Governor DeSantis in Florida did a temporary workaround on the shortage but his state is now suffering from it as well.
DeSantis has spearheaded the research on monoclonal antibodies as a viable treatment for COVID. But in September, the federal government seized control of monoclonal antibody distribution there and restricted the ability of individual states to purchase the treatment in a disingenuous attempt to help increase access to such treatments across the country.
‘I’ll fight like hell’: DeSantis is furious ‘bitter’ Biden cruelly cut ‘lifesaving’ treatment from Floridians https://t.co/gO6wBb5pM2 pic.twitter.com/0mReVBRVZ4
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 17, 2021
Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph A. Lapido charged on Tuesday that the “federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.”
Roy has been making similar claims since September. He asserts the Biden administration’s edicts have “caused immediate disruptions” to monoclonal antibodies access and that those “disruptions have only gotten worse as COVID-19 has continued to circulate through our communities.”
“The fallout of these decisions could prove fatal,” he warned. “This, while your Department has not even at a minimum been transparent about the manufacturing capabilities and supply levels of various mAb treatments whilst denying commercial purchase to block separate recourse to a life-or-death situation.”
Roy’s communications Director Nate Madden remarked on Twitter that the “bottom line” was that people in Texas are “being denied COVID treatment because the Biden administration is interfering with the monoclonal supply while pushing an unconstitutional vaccine mandate.”
DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw agreed with Madden and is placing the blame directly on the Biden administration for failing to prepare.
“Same in Florida and many other states,” Pushaw replied on Twitter. “It’s unconscionable, we warned the Biden Administration about the winter surge for months and urged the federal government to ramp up supplies of MAB treatment as promised. They failed to listen.”
Same in Florida and many other states. It’s unconscionable, we warned the Biden Administration about the winter surge for months and urged the federal government to ramp up supplies of MAB treatment as promised. They failed to listen. https://t.co/oWkNgKKzzs
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) December 30, 2021
Roy wrote that it is urgent that HHS “releases restrictions to purchasing mAb treatments for all variants and immediately answers the questions asked in this letter as well as the questions previously asked.”
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