Projecting government control over the lives of Americans is quickly becoming a hallmark of the Biden White House. From the start, President Joe Biden has touted the vaccine as central to his “national strategy to beat COVID-19.” He hailed his administration’s strategy as “comprehensive” and “based on science, not politics.” Recent actions by the President suggest his administration’s “comprehensive” strategy considers less the health of the American people and more the opportunity to expand executive power.
The CDC’s website refers to monoclonal antibodies as a treatment that “can reduce the amount of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” effectively lowering the viral load in infected individuals. Monoclonal antibody infusions are additionally believed to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70% in at-risk unvaccinated people. While the vaccine does reduce transmission of the virus and can act as a preventive measure against infection, monoclonal antibodies remain an effective treatment for high-risk patients.
Doctors still advise that vaccination serves as the best defense against infection and reduction of severe symptoms during infection. However, southern states hardest hit by the recent Delta surge have seen great success from the administration of this treatment. As demand for monoclonal antibody treatment continues to rise, particularly among states with lower vaccination rates, the federal government announced its decision to take over the distribution of monoclonal antibody infusion to states. U.S. Health and Human Services will now determine which states will receive how many doses each week rather than administration sites ordering them directly. This move comes just over a month after Biden called on Republican governors to either help or “get out of the way” amidst efforts to turn the tide in the ongoing pandemic.
Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis pushed back against Biden’s new measures to control treatment, stating that patients could see a huge disruption in life-saving treatment. DeSantis promised, “Whoever needs a treatment, we’re going to work like hell to get them the treatment.” Biden’s tightening control over life-saving treatments has left the Florida governor to resource doses himself with pending deals between DeSantis and drug makers for the purchase of doses outside of the federal government’s new ration.
Ultimately, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is correct to state that antibody treatments do not serve as a substitute for vaccines. But he’s also correct to describe Biden’s move as a “partisan payback” against states that have refused to fall in line with his authoritarian agenda.