LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – The use of monoclonal antibody therapy in the fight against COVID-19 is becoming more widespread, and that’s good news for Michigan as it faces a mounting pile of new cases.
While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touted their use in Wednesday’s press conference, there’s been a push for this type of therapy from former President Donald Trump and others for months.
In fact, Whitmer threatened the medical community in March 2020 over the prescription of COVID-19 anti-virals.
“Prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without further proof of efficacy for treating COVID-19…will be evaluated and may be further investigated for administrative action,” Whitmer said.
The use of monoclonal antibodies are already helping Michigan residents diagnosed with COVID-19. Karyn Belanger from Tri-Hospital EMS said they’ve already given monoclonal antibody cocktail treatments to patients. It’s a 21-minute infusion followed by a one hour observation after the treatment.
“The results that we’ve been seeing with our patients is pretty significant,” Belanger said. “We’re taking people that are moderately sick, preventing them from becoming more sick to the point where they’d need to go to the hospital.”
Belanger added, “It’s basically a method of stopping the progression of the illness.”
In December, Belanger said Tri-County EMS treated 19 patients during a nursing home outbreak in southeastern Michigan. None had to be hospitalized.
Last April, State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) credited hydroxychloroquine with saving her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after one of her friends died from the virus.
In addition, Whitsett credited then President Donald Trump after he proposed widespread use of therapeutics.
“I thank God the president of the United States mentioned that drug because it did save me,” Whitsett said.
Several weeks later, Whitsett’s own party voted to censure the representative for crediting Trump.
Whitsett sued Whitmer and fellow Democrats over the censure but dropped the lawsuit several weeks later.