Yes, I agree we will have to make our peace with COVID. Herd immunity -- that wonderful place where everyone who is going to get it has gotten it and those who don't are vaccinated -- has been taken off the table. The FDA and the CDC waited too long and we all know that. The arbitrary way that they said that in the second week in September they will have a ruling and then the speed up to August 23 shows they were just political anyway responding to pressure from President Biden. The whole idea that we needed billions of people to take Pfizer (PFE) and have so few reactions and yet it still was in emergency use status was just plain stupid. Especially when this FDA blessed a $56,000 a year drug from Biogen (BIIB) for Alzheimer's that its own panel of advisers vetoed as ineffective.
As someone studying the pros and cons of the current treatments I can tell you that the FDA made that move to encourage others to develop better drugs, not because it was a superior treatment for a bad disease.
So, think of this: we have millions dying of COVID around the globe, we have a vaccine that works, and the FDA approves a drug that probably doesn't work according to a panel of 11 experts, 10 of whom voted against and one said he was uncertain. One of the resigning judges said that the FDA's move was "probably the worst drug approval in recent U.S. history."
Let's delve deeper. The idea that the FDA's regular approval will somehow change anything is pretty silly. If you didn't like the vaccine before, you don't' like it after unless you are plain scared because you see the unvaccinated get really sick or die while the vaccinated tend not to die.
Companies didn't need this approval to force people to take the drug. They simply could have just said you will be fired if you don't after a proscribed period of time as the Walt Disney Company (DIS) did. That policy is for employees' and guests' sakes. Anyone could have done it. But they didn't have the courage and they feared backlash. Many felt that without a federal mandate they were powerless. That's just silly. The only case we have that matters is a federal case ruling that an employer has every right to demand vaccination in part because of the public good and the imperative to stop the pandemic. Only the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) stood up to a government official, the governor of Florida, who wanted to protect the right to be unvaccinated, a cause the federal judge said was ridiculous.
Now we are at a moment where we can, once again, try to slow down or stop the pandemic. But it will never really go away unless we have something that we can take that can stop it before it hurts us. Right now we have a monoclonal antibody drip made by Regeneron (REGN) that can keep you out of the hospital but the government is not encouraging its use and it is reaching fewer than 30% of the people who could take it. How is it possible that the feds are not promoting this drug which could save more than a million people from hospitalization?
I have one.
Total incompetence, just like everything else that we get from the CDC and the FDA and the NIH for that matter.
It is time for an investigation of what's going on that the government has not pushed for mass vaccination or mass treatment once you have the illness.
So much is on the line. Perhaps more than anything involving illness since 2019. But incompetence, omissions and even outright lies have categorized this federal attempt to "stem" the pandemic. I have had enough with both the public health complex and cowardly employers. We need to stop this. The two of these can do so.
They are failing us.