Many of you are wondering who the hell is Daniel Ellsberg? Mr. Ellsberg was ground zero for a monumental media firestorm during the summer of 1971 about the Vietnam War. I won’t rehash what became known as the Pentagon Papers. I am hoping someone emerges with the “real” COVID-19 story.
As last reported, new studies are surfacing challenging the efficacy of various forms of COVID mitigation. This has heightened the polarization of what practices are going to be continued and what will be discontinued. The “science” seems to be waning in importance.
In the state of Texas, Omicron cases are on the decline. Fauci even recently announced the “U.S. is exiting the full-blown pandemic phase.” In an unconfirmed internet story, it was alleged during the HIV/AIDS epidemic Fauci was a strong advocate for vaccine development and almost anti-therapy development. This may or may not connect the dots to the current lack/shortage of COVID therapy development and explain the full-court press on vaccine participation (currently there are no HIV vaccines licensed for the market).
In what has been extremely limited local reporting, a February 5, 2022 Dallas Morning News article, “Approved virus treatments, and how to find them,” the sketchy existence of COVID-19 treatments was outlined. The good news is The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency authorization for 4 treatments. The only access to the treatments is by prescription or referral from a health care provider. The article goes on to state the “treatments are in short supply in North Texas.” Some of you have probably heard or seen mention of COVID “monoclonal antibody treatments and wondered what they are and where to get them. My random sample of four health care providers in Dallas/Fort Worth resulted in zero availability.
I’m not a scientist so am not going to try and explain what monoclonal antibodies are. However, here’s where things get murky. In December 16, 2020, CNBC reported, “antibody drugs used to treat Trump and others could cut Covid-19 hospitalizations by half, but they’re not being used by the general public.” According to Alex Azar, Health Secretary, “ what’s happening is people are waiting too long to seek out the treatments.” What?
Being skeptical, after reading the aforementioned stories, I decided further investigation was necessary and was surprised by my discovery. First, the monoclonal antibodies Trump received were not approved by the FDA. I for one was amazed at the speed Trump recovered and some even wondered if he actually was infected. Second, a federal “right to try” law was passed in May 2018. Simply, this law allows patients to “try” experimental drugs not yet approved by the FDA. This enabled Trump’s physicians to access the drugs from the company, Regeneron. Interestingly, Regeneron had developed the “approach and technologies” for these antibodies from work related to the treatment of Ebola. Third, to add to the confusion, The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on January 22, 2022, revising the use of monoclonal antibodies, bamlanivimab, etesevimab, casirivimab, imdevimab to only situations where the patient has been exposed to the Delta variant. Apparently, it’s been determined these antibodies are ineffective against Omicron. A peculiarity to this announcement is the testing kits being distributed by the government don’t determine which COVID variant a person has.
In summary, certain monoclonal antibodies have had their FDA authorizations revised. Seemingly, the FDA by their announcement has declared the COVID Delta variant over. Does the FDA ruling make the use of the aforementioned antibodies illegal in light of the “Right to Try” law? Are organizations treating patients using these antibodies subject to legal action? We’ve seen the NIH and CDC attempt to silence individuals with an alternative position, will the FDA exert the same type of influence? Earlier during the pandemic, there was a surplus of monoclonal antibodies and currently they’re in short supply. On January 30, the Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 183 deaths for the week. This made it the deadliest week since the pandemic began.
As someone once said, there’s a fly in the ointment. The inconsistencies are mounting and explanations are getting fewer and further between.
As background, I was a junior in high school following the summer when the Pentagon Papers were released. Each day during my history class, we examined the inconsistencies between what had been reported about the Vietnam War and what the reality was. I realize the Papers did not end the War but they shed light on many questionable decisions Presidents made that cost thousands of American lives. Our conversations left an indelible imprint on me about the importance of reliable reporting. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’m hoping someone is writing the COVID Papers.
Vietnam cost 58,000 American lives. COVID has taken 918,000 deaths and counting!