Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon is calling on the Biden administration to make monoclonal antibodies available for individual states to purchase, instead of allocating them through a formula.
With supply of the drug limited, the Biden administration has used a formula based on population and risk factors to distribute the antibodies, according to ABC News. The administration has also refused to distribute the drug to regions where the Omicron variant constitutes at least 80% of new COVID-19 cases, citing a decreased effectiveness against the new variant.
Advocated by political and medical figures from White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, monoclonal antibodies can be injected into COVID-19 patients whose bodies are not naturally producing antibodies to the virus. Then-President Donald Trump received the treatment in 2020 when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers received it in November after contracting the virus.
“From the beginning, the Biden Administration’s COVID strategy has been a failure. We should be using every resource at our disposal to fight this virus. Instead of doing so, President Biden is choosing to push a political agenda by denying states direct access to necessary therapies. As we have learned over the past weeks, full vaccination will not stop the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, states should be fully equipped to treat patients post-diagnosis – that means providing ample amounts of monoclonal antibodies,” Fallon said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “I strongly urge the President to consider to my request.”
Read the letter here:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki blamed states like Florida and Texas for ordering large amounts of the treatment in the fall as the Delta variant surged in the South, leading Republicans like DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to push back. (RELATED: Florida Surgeon General Claims Biden Admin Is ‘Actively Preventing’ Distribution Of COVID Treatments)
“I understand the need for states to receive equitable treatment in the distribution of monoclonal antibodies but injecting the federal government in the process can only slow it down and add an unnecessary level of bureaucracy in our time of need,” Fallon wrote of the apportioning formula.
The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has promised to speed up production of the drug. GSK’s antibody version is the only one that has demonstrated success at combating the Omicron variant.