The list of ways the Biden administration has targeted North Dakota is long. Our energy industry, our ag producers and our taxation and regulation. But a decision made on Sept 13 to take control of the monoclonal antibody therapy distribution could have life or death ramifications for North Dakotans. Unfortunately, this decision hasn't received much attention; but thankfully North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford joined a list of lieutenant governors across the country in signing a letter calling out Pres. Joe Biden on this egregious decision. The impacts are real, and are already here.
Dr. Josh Ranum, West River Health Services internal medicine doctor, told us that this has already resulted in an 80% reduction in the supply.
“It's certainly disheartening to see you're running dry on ammo in the middle of a surge,” Ranum said of the change.
In the letter from the group of lieutenant governors, they reminded the Biden administration that they have expressed an interest in redistributing the therapies “equitably.” But, they also point out that “for the federal government to restrict care for patients in states that are currently experiencing higher case rates is anything but equitable.”
“We are concerned about the abrupt decision to seize control of the distribution of the life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19,” Sanford said of the letter.
North Dakota was on top of it right away – ordering 1,000 doses as soon as the announcement came from the administration.
Ask yourself why the Biden administration would see fit to add another layer of regulation between a therapy that has proven to be the most successful tool in keeping COVID patients out of the hospital and off of ventilators. Why? Is this another way to punish red states? Is it another assault on alternatives therapies in COVID care instead of the vaccine?
As with most decisions by the Biden administration, we're left to guess whether the decision is about intentional harm or flagrant incompetence. Whatever the motivation, it is wrong, and we must lift our voices to do everything in our power to restore common sense health care provisions in getting this life-changing therapy to patients who need it.
Let me leave you with one example of the importance of this therapy.
My Super Producer, Chris Larson, contracted COVID-19 in May 2021. A fully-vaccinated 32-year-old. He went to his local Sanford Hospital and received the infusion of bamlanivimab + etesevimab, one of multiple monoclonal antibody treatments available to high-risk individuals who test positive for COVID-19. The treatments are meant to help reduce the risk of hospitalization and serious complications for high-risk individuals.
If he would have not been able to receive the treatment, as would be a possibility under the Biden regime's new plan, there's a strong possibility that he would have been hospitalized with the virus and could have potentially had serious, and even life-threatening, complications from the virus.
So I ask you, why are we removing the ability for local health care to make decisions that are best left to them?
Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at ScottH@FlagFamily.com
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.