From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Donald J. Trump are not the sturdiest candidates to conquer the coronavirus: older, in some cases overweight, male and not particularly fit. Yet all seem to have gotten through Covid-19, and all have gotten an antibody treatment in such short supply that some hospitals and states are doling it out by lottery.
Now Rudolph W. Giuliani, the latest member of President Trump’s inner circle to contract Covid-19, has acknowledged that he received at least two of the same drugs the president received. He even conceded that his “celebrity” status had given him access to care that others did not have.
“If it wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have been put in a hospital frankly,” Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told WABC radio in New York. “Sometimes when you’re a celebrity, they’re worried if something happens to you they’re going to examine it more carefully, and do everything right.”
Mr. Giuliani’s candid admission once again exposes that Covid-19 has become a disease of the haves and the have-nots. The treatment given to Mr. Trump’s allies is raising alarms among medical ethicists as state officials and health system administrators grapple with gut-wrenching decisions about which patients get antibodies in a system that can only be described as rationing.
Mr. Giuliani, 76, appeared unaware of the scarcity issues, telling interviewers that politicians have taken masks and business closures too far now that Covid-19 is “a treatable disease.”
Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II told reporters on Wednesday that so far, 278,000 doses of the two therapies have been allocated. There were almost that many coronavirus cases (220,225) diagnosed in the United States on Tuesday alone.
Once state and local health agencies determine which hospitals or medical facilities should get the drugs, they are shipped out by a third-party distributor. Then it is up to health care providers to figure out what to do with them. Dr. Peter L. Slavin, the president of Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an interview Tuesday that access there would be by lottery.
“The notion that we are going to be able to treat a significant percentage of the people who qualify for the drug with the drug — it’s not going to happen,” he said.