GOP upset Biden administration is ensuring all states have access to COVID treatments


'This is your first real taste of Communist controlled healthcare,' Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene charged.

Congressional Republicans are accusing President Joe Biden of 'rationing' COVID-19 treatments after his administration took action to ensure a few states do not use them all up.

"Isn't it curious that the States that didn’t vote for Biden are the ones now having their COVID therapies taken away by the President?" tweeted Rep. Darrell Issa of California on Tuesday. "It shouldn't matter where you live. Everyone should have access to life saving COVID treatments."

"When governments control who gets life saving treatment, they play God. This is your first real taste of Communist controlled healthcare," charged Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. "It’s purely criminal for Biden’s HHS to limit any supply. All lives matter. Or do only D states & Vax lives matter. Is that equitable?"

"Monoclonal antibodies are an effective, lifesaving treatment," agreed Texas Rep. Chip Roy. "But Biden's HHS is suddenly stepping in to review and ration doctor's orders. Hindering their ability to care for their patients."

Florida Rep. Byron Donalds wrote that "Any decision to prevent Americans from accessing medical treatments like MAB is a blatant attack on science and exposes the troubling trend by the public health industry to put politics over the people."

They are upset that the Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it would limit the number of doses of monoclonal antibodies treatments — Eli Lilly's bamlanivimab and etesevimab combination and Regeneron's REGEN-COV — based on state demand and case numbers. The treatments are being provided to states by the federal government at no charge.

Preliminary research suggests the treatments can reduce the risk of death or hospitalization for those who contract COVID-19 by roughly 70% — if administered early. They are approved for age 65 and older and those most at-risk for complications.

But the federal government does not have an unlimited supply of the monoclonal antibodies treatments. It purchased about 1.5 million doses of Regeneron's treatment at a cost of about $2,100 each and a few hundred thousand doses of the Eli Lilly therapies.

"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 Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

The delta variant is surging across the country, but 70% of the recent orders for the treatments have come from just seven states: Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana. All of those but Louisiana are run entirely by Republicans.

According to CBS News, six of those states rank in the bottom 10 nationally for vaccination rates; only Florida has a majority of its population vaccinated. All seven have high hospitalization rates.

The governors of Florida, of Tennessee, and of Texas have all taken action to prevent local school systems from requiring face masks to curb transmission.

Though the Biden administration has urged vaccinates and masks as the best way to protect Americans against the pandemic, some GOP governors — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — have instead prioritized monoclonal antibodies treatments as their main COVID-19 response strategy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.