Icy Joe

When Biden took office and rescinded Trump’s border controls, tens of thousands sought entry across our southern border. The new Administration did little to stem the tide. Dead bodies in the desert and abandoned little children only elicited efforts to move the multitudes out of sight. The left hailed Biden as enlightened. Fifteen thousand migrants are setting up an improvised city under a bridge connecting Mexico to the U.S. Unvaccinated, with no food or water and little sanitation, it’s the definition of squalor. No one in the Administration is available for comment. How cold is this?

Tens of thousands of abandoned people, the U.S. is honor-bound to get out of Afghanistan still left under the Taliban’s rule. Some of them turning up beaten or dead. With no plan to get them out, the Administration is busy congratulating themselves for retrieving others. Again, their view is cold. 

Why aren’t people more worked up over these horrors? Sometimes things are so bad it’s hard for people to comprehend. An earthquake killing thousands gets less attention than ten trapped miners. We relate in human terms.

Thousands died of Covid in New York nursing homes. Still, it wasn’t until a Fox news weather person asked how her elderly in-laws died that an incoherent policy of returning infected people to the homes became widely known. Putting a human face on the problem made all the difference.

The Biden administration’s capping the number of monoclonal antibody treatments given to certain red states could backfire the same way then-Governor Cuomo’s putting the infected in nursing home policy ruined his image.

Many people are still unaware of the Monoclonal Antibody Treatment, so a little background is in order. In my 12/21/20 post “Are We Doing Enough to save Lives?,” I wrote of my shock finding this life-saving treatment was little used, despite President Trump’s rapid recovery from Covid. Unused, the antibody treatment stockpiles grew.

It wasn’t till this summer’s Delta Covid variant spreading rapidly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted infections among older or compromised vaccinated people. It appeared the vaccine protection waned for these groups. Added to the unvaccinated,,he had a crisis. 

Gov. DeSantis, to my mind, is one of the few elected officials who has followed the actual science of the pandemic. Early on, he made every effort to protect those at most risk. Help and vaccines went to those first. People at less risk were allowed to return to everyday life. Florida boomed. Kids are in school. 

It’s no wonder then he knew of the value of the monoclonal antibody treatment. He was also aware of problems getting the regimen to the infected. Requiring an infusion, a setup, and a medical technician is needed. The earlier after infected you get the treatment, the better it works. The difficulty of timely getting patients and treatment together explained its lack of use.

Blanketing the state with fusion sites was the answer. As the success of Florida’s program became known, other hard-hit states copied its success. The once large stockpile dwindled. The government which controlled supply, unfortunately, failed to take note and maintain supply.  

Many states, including Florida, were expecting increased supply suddenly were informed they would get much less. Any supplier seeing its orders growing would increase efforts to meet demand, but not our government. It only now has placed new orders. 

Asleep at the switch, or is something else at work here? There is no reason that the supply isn’t increasing in line with demand. Regeneron is the only U.S. source but hasn’t indicated that it can’t drive up production if given timely procurement orders. Even if they couldn’t keep up, several other drug companies offer similarly effective monoclonal antibody treatments used worldwide.

It is no secret Florida Gov. DeSantis’ Covid approach is popular with Republicans. His state overall has done better than those taking more severe actions. The Biden Administration likely sees him as a threat. Its Media allies have attacked DeSantis unfairly over the Antibody program. Spreading the idea, Florida is pursuing the treatment at the expense of vaccination.

Florida has a solid record of vaccinations, especially among the elderly and compromised. Among large states, Florida has a more significant elderly population. Breakthrough infections among highly at-risk groups, even if vaccinated, called for action. Rather than rejecting vaccines, DeSantis saw the need to offset the waning protection experienced by some.

This week the FDA advisory voiced support of Florida’s position by okaying booster shots for these groups. DeSantis took an extraordinary measure to protect the at-risk whether vaccinated or not. It’s about health and saving lives.

In Florida, there is an appreciation for the availability of the treatment. The Orlando Sentinel relates the experience of a woman 53 who came down with Covid and her father-Law 86,e both vaccinated, receiving the treatment. A recent stroke victim, the 86yr old could hardly walk. “The combination of the vaccine and the infusion kept us from getting very sick,” she said. “I don’t think we would have gotten as better as quickly without the infusion.” 

Now, Florida will receive less than half of the medicine it needs. The Administration is punishing the state for finding a way to use effective treatment and saving lives. It claims it must be equitable in distribution, but the shortage is of its own making. On its front page, the New York times again gives the administration cover.

What if we have a situation similar to the 53 and 86 yr olds cited above. Instead of quick recovery, they die. Maybe the 53yr old has a TV personality daughter. The daughter investigates and finds many comparable cases where people died because of the Administration ordered shortage. Perhaps something akin to this will put a human face on tragedy. It sounds like Cuomo and the nursing homes in New York, but worse. 

Biden’s Florida cap is political retribution. Nothing else explains his action. As in his moves on Afghanistan and the border, the only way to describe his behavior is cold. 

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