A Few Questions for the Biden Administration on the Latest COVID-19 Uptick

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Last night, President Joe Biden participated in a town hall on CNN. He continued his pleas for those unvaccinated against COVID-19 to get their shots. Once again, the messaging is a little bit off given current events:

In the last several days, fully vaccinated Texas Democrats, along with a few White House staff members and several professional athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19. In these cases, either the commercial tests used are oversensitive and pick up RNA fragments following a normal immune response or the individuals have a COVID-19 infection.

All available data up to this point certainly seems to indicate that vaccination will prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. The CDC has stopped collecting and reporting breakthrough infections unless a fully vaccinated patient is hospitalized or dies. So we won’t have any complete data from the United States on how often vaccinated individuals test positive, except for high-profile situations such as the ones in the last week or so.

However, Biden’s overt concern about unvaccinated Americans, including children under 12, seems hollow. First, the FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for monoclonal antibodies in February 2021. The NIH recommended them for outpatient treatment protocols in May 2021. Three monoclonal antibodies are still on the treatment recommendations from the NIH, and the combinations are being updated based on new variants. The Pasteur Institute confirmed in May that two of the currently recommended varieties are effective against the Delta variant. A third, sotrovimab, has data in preprint demonstrating effectiveness against 14 variants, including Delta.

Vaccination today takes time to be effective, especially the two-dose brands. If a more transmissible variant is already on the increase, where is the public messaging on monoclonal antibodies? Why are healthcare providers not being inundated with information on how to access them? Why aren’t Americans being told where to locate them if they are symptomatic and have a positive test?

An administration concerned with saving lives would surely know that every unvaccinated American and every primary care provider knew they could go to the HHS Protect Public Data website’s Therapeutics tab to find out where to locate these treatments. Commentators on CNN, Jen Psaki, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and even President Biden would be giving these instructions every time they were near a camera. Facebook would have a locator for COVID-19-positive patients as well as vaccines. None of this is happening.

Next, the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas reports a 900% increase in COVID-19 positive detainees at the border. According to Border Patrol, 188,000 illegal immigrants came last month. Just under 105,000 were denied access due to Title 42, which is a public health protocol due to COVID-19. The Biden administration is not expelling unaccompanied children or most family units under Title 42, and eliminating it entirely is under consideration.

Fox News’s Bill Melugin reported that over 300 migrants crossed in the sector. On Wednesday night, he spoke with illegal immigrants from Ghana, Haiti, and Haiti in a report for Tucker Carlson Tonight. These illegal border crossers could be carrying a myriad of variants that are not well understood or common in this country. Reports also confirm the use of a Texas Airforce base to transport those not expelled all over the country. Haitian immigrants are showing up by the busload in mid-sized cities in Louisiana as well.

If the Biden administration were serious about ending the pandemic, they would not be considering a rollback of Title 42. They would also not be selectively enforcing it. The migration to the United States is not limited to the Northern Triangle countries or Mexico. The global nature increases the likelihood of new COVID variants as well as other diseases that go undetected.

There are at least two things the Biden administration could do to mitigate the impact of a new wave of COVID-19. It is not doing either one. How can they expect Americans to share the sense of urgency they are trying to convey when this is the case?