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Trump, who is recovering from Covid, has promised the best drugs for everyone – he’s mostly just been helping his friends

“I want everyone to get the same treatment as your president because I feel good. I feel, like, perfect,” Trump said. “I think it was a blessing from God that I caught it. It was a blessing in disguise.”

Two months later, Trump helped some people receive the experimental treatments his doctors gave him when he was sick: his close friends and associates, many of whom contracted the virus while ignoring recommendations to mitigate its spread .

The presidential involvement has not extended to millions of other Americans who have also contracted the virus, straining hospitals and forcing medical professionals to decide who can receive the most promising treatments, including supply is severely limited.

While Trump has pressed the US Food and Drug Administration to quickly approve the treatments, he has yet to ensure “everyone” can receive them for free. While he remains consumed by his election defeat, the president barely mentioned the spike in cases and made no comment on Wednesday when the US death toll reached its highest daily tally.

He’s been more active when people he knows have gotten sick.

Giuliani leaves hospital after being treated for coronavirus

Trump personally intervened to ensure Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson received the same monoclonal antibody treatment he used while at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“President Trump was following my condition and cleared me” for drugs, Carson wrote on Facebook after recovering. “President Trump, the fabulous medical team at the White House and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed have paid very close attention to my health.”

The president’s White House physician was also dispatched to convince Rudy Giuliani to enter the hospital when he fell ill with the virus last week. When he did, he, too, was given the cocktail of drugs the president credited with saving his life.

“I didn’t really want to go to the hospital, and he said, ‘Don’t be stupid,'” Giuliani recalled in an interview with WABC Radio this week of his conversation with Dr. Sean Conley, the House doctor. White. “We can be done in three days if we send you to the hospital.”

Another close Trump ally, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also received an experimental antibody treatment ahead of its emergency use clearance from the FDA.

The four men – Trump, Carson, Giuliani and Christie – fall into high-risk categories for people more likely to suffer from severe symptoms of Covid-19. And all have at times ignored recommendations on masks and social distancing that Trump himself has downplayed as the pandemic ravages the country.

“It’s wrong. It’s flat out wrong, it’s unethical, and it shouldn’t continue,” said Art Caplan, founding chief of the Medical Ethics Division at the IAHS Medical School. New York University. “We could argue that the president is an essential worker and we will put him at the top of the list. But when you have people rationing rare drugs, antibodies, when you have people rationing beds in certain places around the country – and it’s going to continue – being a celebrity shouldn’t count. Being a highly visible politician shouldn’t count. It shouldn’t matter who you are logged in with. What should count is the need.”

Like Trump, who received the Regeneron antibody cocktail while at Walter Reed, his associates received drugs that are not yet widely available to the American public, despite the president’s vow to make them free for all. those who need it.

That left state health officials with the task of deciding who can receive the treatments that, by his own admission, saved Trump’s life and likely helped his loved ones recover.

In November, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Regeneron’s antibody cocktail to treat high-risk patients with mild to moderate disease. But the company’s chief executive said in a statement at the time that demand could initially exceed supply.

The company said it would have enough doses for 80,000 patients by the end of November and 200,000 patients by the first week of January. Since then, however, cases have increased. This week, more than 200,000 new cases have been recorded daily.

More than 278,000 courses of the two antibody treatments that have been granted emergency use authorization to treat Covid-19 have been sent to medical facilities, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on Wednesday. .

Azar, who spoke at a briefing on Operation Warp Speed, said the administration was working to send more.

For now, with the limited number of doses, states that have a larger share of the total number of confirmed Covid-19 patients in the country, as well as regions with a larger number of confirmed hospitalized patients, will have the priority in the distribution of salaries. .

The logistics of distributing antibody treatments are complex. Patients receive the treatment through an infusion that lasts an hour and must be done at a health facility that has access to emergency treatment in case something goes wrong. The patient must then remain for another hour for observation.

Federal officials have acknowledged that distributing these treatments will not be easy.

“We anticipate that initially there will be challenges for the healthcare system in administering intravenous infusions to infected patients,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, therapeutics manager for Operation Warp Speed. the administration, during a briefing in November.

She said the government had developed and distributed a playbook in conjunction with the drug’s makers to help healthcare providers think through the challenges and figure out the best way to set up infusion centres.

But concerns persist about the inequities inherent in the distribution of treatment that is lacking as cases surge across the country. Already, the coronavirus has exposed deep fault lines in how Americans access health care that have fallen along existing racial and socioeconomic fault lines. The openness with which Trump and his allies have used their influence to access promising but scarce treatments only exacerbates the impression that quality health care is easier to access for powerful people.

“You know we have an unfair system. The reduction in resources shows how unfair the system has been from the start,” Caplan said.

For his part, Giuliani didn’t seem concerned that his status as a well-known figure might have influenced his care. Instead, he leaned into it.

“Sometimes when you’re a celebrity they’re worried if something happens to you, they’re going to look at it more carefully and make everything right,” he said in his radio interview this week.

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Post expires at 3:12pm on Sunday June 26th, 2022