Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida had choice words for a policy change made recently by Biden’s FDA. The FDA suddenly eliminated use of certain monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. These treatments have saved lives and prevented hospitalization and more serious illness among the susceptible.
DeSantis was outraged at this latest move: [emphasis added to quotes]
Governor Ron DeSantis is demanding the Biden Administration reverse its sudden and reckless decision to revoke emergency use authorization (EUA) for Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments. This abrupt and unilateral action by the Biden Administration will prevent access to lifesaving treatments for Floridians and Americans.
“Without a shred of clinical data to support this action, Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law. …
This indefensible edict takes treatment out of the hands of medical professionals and will cost some Americans their lives. There are real-world implications to Biden’s medical authoritarianism – Americans’ access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president.” …
What precipitated this move? Does the policy change have anything to do with this story, also related to the use–actually misuse–of monoclonal antibody treatments?
One of the largest hospital systems in the United States gave race more weight than diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension combined in its allocation scheme for COVID treatments, only to reverse the policy after threats of legal action.
SSM Health, a Catholic health system that operates 23 hospitals across Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, began using the scoring system last year to allocate scarce doses of Regeneron, the antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump credited for his recovery from COVID-19.
A patient must score at least 20 points to qualify for the drug. The rubric gives three points to patients with diabetes, one for obesity, one for asthma, and one for hypertension, for a total of six points. Identifying as “Non-White or Hispanic” race, on the other hand, nets a patient seven points, regardless of age or underlying conditions. …
The Biden administration practically created a “need” for the (racist) rationing “scheme” by seizing control of much of the monoclonal antibody treatment supply, in effect causing “scarcity” in some areas of the country, going so far as to falsely claim that if certain people had been vaccinated then they wouldn’t have needed monoclonal antibody treatment in the first place.
That misinformation was spread by Biden’s spokesperson, despite the fact that “breakthrough” infections are occurring at higher and higher frequencies and vaccinated people were and still are presenting for treatment with monoclonal antibodies.
Ironically, after President Trump truthfully reported that whites were being denied therapeutics (and vaccines) because of their race, “fact checks” in the mainstream media falsely claimed that President Trump was lying and that there’s “no evidence” this happened, even though the admission by the health system that they had used a race-based, rationing scheme provided the very evidence the media falsely claim is lacking.
Eventually, as a workaround, Governor DeSantis used his own state’s resources to buy Florida a supply of antibody treatments, seemingly enraging progressives who had devised the racist scheme in the name of “equity.”
Through the FDA’s new ban on the use of the previously authorized treatments–on the premise that they don’t work well enough against the omicron variant–Biden’s administration has now prevented Governor DeSantis from distributing all of his state’s supply, potentially consigning some Floridians to serious illness or even death.
Even though the vaccines no longer work as well against omicron, if at all, to prevent infection or sometimes even hospitalization and death, the Biden administration has not pulled the EUAs for those treatments, which they illogically continue to promote.
Under the racist monoclonal antibody rationing scheme, formerly in effect, a healthy 50-year-old black woman would receive treatment while a 50-year-old obese and diabetic white woman would be denied treatment.
So a black woman with no co-morbidity other than age would receive care solely because of her race, while a same-aged white woman would not be treated, despite having two known comorbidities. This is “equity?”
The scheme awarded a 7-point handicap to privileged categories, without defining race or ethnicity other than “non-white” or Hispanic, which is a language group. This scheme explicitly singled out white people, unless they were also Hispanic.
How Afghan refugees or people of Middle Eastern descent would be categorized is anyone’s guess and likely depended upon the whim of the person taking patient information. It would be interesting to know if patient self-identifications were ever modified by those gathering the information and performing triage. For example, what if a person with a mother of Mexican descent and a father of European descent self-identified as Hispanic but has a “European” surname and more closely resembles the father? It’s not hard to imagine the “deciders” substituting their own categorization for that of the patient.
It’s also interesting to consider that being unvaccinated is not a cited risk factor for serious illness or death, even though Biden’s government insists that vaccination greatly reduces the risk for serious illness or death. So, under this scheme, vaccinated people can be prioritized for treatment that the CDC claims they should not need. Conversely, being vaccinated is not a contraindication for treatment under that scheme!
Obviously, the use of race or ethnicity in determining how to allocate (deliberately) scarce treatments was not “narrowly tailored” in this instance, as is demanded by Supreme Court rulings.
This outrageous story has been ignored or buried by the mainstream media. It’s not hard to imagine why the story is buried or downplayed. The scandal threatens immense repercussions for the hospitals in question as well as for those involved in devising, implementing, and enforcing such a racist rationing scheme.
If the story is buried, no questions will be asked. If not asked, then the answers will never be supplied, especially publicly.
If patients haven’t a clue that they were discriminated against, denied potentially life-saving treatment because of their race alone, then they won’t be likely to seek justice, will they?
Congress should demand an investigation.
If indeed, as claimed, these types of race-based rationing schemes were used throughout the nation, then every institution that used them should be investigated to find out how and why they were proposed, developed, and put into use.
Some questions that should be asked but so far have not been asked, so far as we can know:
- How many people were denied treatment solely because of race?
- What was the outcome for those patients after they were denied treatment? (How many ended up in ICU? How many died?)
- Who decided, and upon what evidence, to give 7 points to race (a 35% head start) but only 6 points combined for well-evidenced, precise comorbidities of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma?
- When was this racist scheme instituted, why, and for how long was it in force?
- Upon what and upon whose “guidance” did hospital systems depend when devising an obviously illegal, unconstitutional, and racist system for rationing life-saving care according to race? (This is what systemic racism looks like!)
- What role did administrators and their employees–in particular “diversity, inclusion, and equity” (aka, DIE) non-clinical staff–play in the development of the racist triage scheme?
- Did anyone involved from the inception raise any objections to such an obviously unconstitutional, immoral, and unethical scheme? If not, why not? If so, what became of their objections?
Lawyers could and should have a field day with the revelation of this racist scheme. It matters not that the institutions have now changed their methods, after being threatened with legal action. If even one person was denied care because of race alone, justice needs to be done. Investigations need to be made. Repercussions should ensue. Most likely, many individuals were discriminated against, simply because of the huge advantage, dare I say privilege, given to some on account of their race.
Class action lawsuits should be expected. We ought to be seeing TV ads:
If you or a loved one was denied monoclonal antibody treatment, call 1-$$$-RACISTS. You may qualify for an enormous settlement if skin color played a role in the denial. Take action now!
One has to wonder whether the intake sheets, the questionnaires filled out by hospital staff when evaluating patients for treatment (or denial), have been saved as part of patient charts, or whether by now the evidence has been shredded out of existence. Surely not!
Where are Attorney General Merrick Garland, the DOJ, and the FBI? Are they investigating this enormous violation of civil rights?
How about the ACLU?
How about any real journalist? Is there anyone asking any of the above questions and demanding answers?
Where’s Congress? Where are our representatives?
Why are they allowing this injustice to stand?