I want to share again, for what it is worth, how important it is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, I am not a medical doctor or health professional. But the evidence that the vaccine reduces hospitalizations and death is convincing. Though the issue over forcing someone take the shot is still an area of concern as it relates to our personal freedom. Thus, a dilemma.

Most Republican leaders I know have advocated for the vaccine, encouraging those eligible for it to have it. Seniors and those with compromised medical conditions should have the mind-set to be vaccinated as a precautionary measure.  

Yet, now comes the word that the Biden administration is taking charge of how monoclonal antibody treatments are distributed, essentially implementing rationing. Beyond the dilemma of forced vaccinations, should a government or elected leader make that decision?  

On a recent broadcast of the Sean Hannity show, Republican Sen. Rand Paul declared that the Biden administration’s change to the distribution of monoclonal antibodies “could be that they think there are more deplorable people in Florida, more Republicans or more of the unvaccinated unwashed.” And that under socialized medicine, “decisions will be made for political reasons.”

Isn’t that a legitimate conclusion? News reports around Kentucky confirm that commonwealth health care providers will no longer be allowed to order these treatments directly because the federal government is controlling it. That isn’t a good place for democracy, especially now that we have months of history dealing with pandemic treatments.  

It’s government overreach that troubles Sen. Paul where the predicament lands us on the side of socialized medicine instead of capitalism. “Under capitalism, when there’s increased demand, and Florida has increased demand right now, you increase the supply. Supply matches demand in capitalism. In socialism, you have political reasons. So, it could be that they think there are more deplorable people in Florida, more Republicans or more of the unvaccinated unwashed. And so, decisions will be made for political reasons. But if this were capitalism and this were going out into the marketplace, the companies would be ramping up production and it would be distributed where it’s needed.”

Well said. We might keep in mind since the government is paying for monoclonal antibody product, it’s not about rich versus poor. A Forbes article recapping the challenge highlighted a statement by the “Medical Association of the State of Alabama saying they are ‘very concerned’ that the federal government is limiting supply at a time when it should be helping ‘provide more of this treatment … not less.’”

This scarcity creates a type of never-waste-a-crisis logic. Consider Gov. Andy Beshear’s statement, “What this shortage ought to tell you is that if you’re unvaccinated and you get really sick, not only might there not be a bed in the hospital for you because they are so full, but that monoclonal antibody treatment might not be there for you either. That thing you’re counting on might not be available. What is available, and there are no supply issues at all, are these safe and effective vaccines.”

What he is saying is true, but the government is the one limiting distribution. That article I mentioned earlier underscored that “the change, which is all but certain to reduce supply in some hard-hit states in the Southeast, comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month warned a group of seven states relying heavily on the treatments that they would need to cut back on their orders.” Those states identified as being located along the Gulf Coast, are facing some of the U.S.’s most severe Covid-19 outbreaks and have been utilizing about 70% of the nation’s distribution of monoclonal antibodies to help reduce hospitalizations. (Forbes)

Again, let me reiterate. Vaccines should be a first line of defense and my hope would be that people will be able to sense that after seeing so many unvaccinated individuals falling victim to it they too would be vaccinated. But the broader challenge for our country is a continued move by liberals to socialize medicine.   

President Trump’s Warp Speed initiative developed reliable vaccines in record time working together with private drug manufacturers that catapulted the United States ahead in combating the virus.  Hesitancy is another issue, but mainly at the hands of Democrat politicians who pledged not to take a vaccine created under the Trump administration and since then have provided mixed messaging.  

It concerns me when the government gets involved in anything these days. Adding bureaucracy and delay seems to be their expertise, especially considering how well Democratic majorities have handled the Mexican Border and hasty move from Afghanistan.

Greg DeLancey is the 1st District chairman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. He may be reached at republican.chair@gmail.com.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.

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