Friday, September 17, 2021


Charles C.W. Cooke's National Review post "Ron DeSantis Was Right About Monoclonal-Antibody Therapy" is as bad as you'd imagine:
Two months ago, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida was being roundly castigated for promoting the use of Regeneron’s monoclonal-antibody treatment as part of his state’s efforts to fight COVID-19. Desperate to find something sinister in the push, DeSantis’s critics threw out every charge they could dream up. At first, the line was that Regeneron’s treatment didn’t work. Then, it was that Regeneron’s treatment worked fine, but represented a dangerous distraction from the vaccine. And, finally, it was that Regeneron’s treatment was part of a corrupt plot to enrich DeSantis’s donors.

Today, we learn from the Washington Post that, actually, none of that was the problem. Instead, DeSantis’s sin is that he has been relying upon monoclonal-antibody treatment too much, and that this is unfair to other states that now need it.

What a difference eight weeks make.
"What a difference eight weeks make," Cooke writes. Did the evil libs say in the past eight weeks that monoclonal antibodies aren't effective on COVID? Not according to Cooke's own link, which goes to a New Republic article from last October that doesn't mention DeSantis at all. (It's about Donald Trump's recovery from COVID.) Cooke has a point about the story that linked DeSantis's support of this treatment to a major donor who was said to be deeply invested in Regeneron -- as PolitiFact and others have since pointed out, the donor's firm isn't a major investor in the company. But while that story regrettably still circulates, it's irrelevant to the main point: Yes, Regeneron’s treatment works, but describing it as "the best thing we can do to reduce the number of people who require hospitalization" and "the best shot we’ve got right now to keep people out of the hospital and keep them safe" -- as DeSantis has done, despite the existence of a vaccine that actually is "the best shot we’ve got right now to keep people out of the hospital and keep them safe" -- absolutely is "a dangerous distraction from the vaccine."

DeSantis set out to turn Florida into the Regeneron State, proudly promoting new sites where monoclonal antibody treatments are available. That's nuts, as doctors who are sneeringly quoted by Cooke make clear:
... Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious-disease specialist at Family Health Centers of San Diego ... proposed that promoting Regeneron’s treatment was “a backwards strategy.” “It’s so much better to prevent a disease than to use an expensive, cumbersome and difficult-to-use therapy,” Ramers submitted. “It does not make any medical sense to lean into monoclonals to the detriment of vaccines. It’s like playing defense with no offense.”

But, Cooke says, DeSantis has no choice! He's trapped in a world he never made!
Yes, in an ideal world, all Americans who are able would go and get vaccinated. But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a free country, and for whatever reason, a considerable number of people in this free country of ours are just not going to do what [pro-vaccine doctors] want them to do. As a result, our various governments have been faced with a choice. They can either (a) throw their hands up and say, “Well, if you won’t get vaccinated, I guess we’ll just watch you die,” or (b) accept reality and say, “Okay, bad decision, but I guess we’ll try to help you some other way.” From the moment that monoclonal-antibody treatment became a viable option, Governor DeSantis and others chose this second course of action.
Yes, Cooke actually wrote that Floridians aren't getting vaccinated "for whatever reason." It's an unsolvable mystery! It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that DeSantis signed a law preventing private businesses from requiring that customers be vaccinated, threatens to fine cities and counties that insist on vaccinated employees, and sells beer koozies and T-shirts attacking the most prominent advocate of vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci, could it? You don't suppose maybe he's reinforcing the notion that vaccines are bad, do you?

Yes, we need vaccines and treatments. No, the treatments shouldn't go overwhelmingly to states where the government expresses contempt for vaccines, while saying that treatments in limited supply should be mass-distributed because they're an awesome way to own the libs.

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