Americans are expressing outrage Friday as they learn former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a top Republican and top ally of President Donald Trump, is one of a very few people who was treated for COVID-19 with a “VIP” experimental antibody drug therapy, manufactured by Eli Lilly.
Christie, who checked himself into a hospital on October 3 after testing positive for coronavirus was present at the Trump White House’s “super-spreader” celebration for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. At least 34 people tested positive after attending the event.
Christie was also part of President Donald Trump’s debate prep team. He revealed almost no one wore masks during their sessions. On Thursday he said he learned from his illness and urged all Americans to wear masks, saying the federal government should have treated them as adults.
But S&P Global reports Christie is just “the latest person with VIP status to obtain access to a drug out of reach for most Americans,” noting that “bioethicists have raised concerns about the standards Lilly and Regeneron are using to provide access to the limited doses of their experimental antibody treatments.”
Christie was treated with Eli Lilly and Co.’s experimental antibody treatment, along with Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral remdesivir, an Ebola drug.
“Lilly declined to comment specifically on how Christie obtained access to the company’s experimental antibody treatment and what criteria he met to receive the therapy.”
Over eight million Americans have been infected with coronavirus. On Thursday the US recorded 66,129 new COVID-19 cases. Nearly 220,000 have died already. That number is growing by the minute.
Many on social media, upon learning that Christie was treated with a drug almost no one else has access to, expressed anger – over his irresponsible behavior and that his status, access to the President, access to the best health care, and privilege allow him to benefit while Americans who are working hard to protect themselves and their families, yet contract COVID-19 are still dying.
Did Christie’s insurance pay for the antibody treatment or was is provided by Eli Lilly for free???
— U.N. Owen (@Ew_en_Owen) October 16, 2020
buried in this story > former NJ gov Chris Christie was given Eli Lilly experimental antibody treatment > was he ineligible for a trial? > or do we have another compassionate-use-for-important people scenario#righttotry #ifyoudaguy https://t.co/n8kSuGpPKO
— Antonio Regalado (@antonioregalado) October 16, 2020
Why does potus and chris christie get “a combination of blood thinners, the Ebola drug remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly” while being irresponsible with the pandemic, while our friends and families die?
Are they more equal than the rest of us? pic.twitter.com/iU91Sk6BWc
— Gun Owners for BIDEN (@MikeMetcalfe17) October 16, 2020
Like Trump, white privilege & power saved you. You continue to support a man who would’ve said this if you had died due to him: ”Sorry to hear about Chris Christie. Nice guy. But, you know he was overweight & not healthy. That’s why he didn’t beat it like me! I beat it! Sad!”
— AC (@AC100201) October 16, 2020
— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) October 16, 2020
BREAKING—Chris Christie was not only hospitalized, but he was in the ICU for 7-days… and he got special VIP access to Eli Lily’s synthetic monoclonal antibody drug direct from the manufacturer (it’s not available to general public since it’s not FDA approved). That’s privilege. pic.twitter.com/YjSdyrWxFs
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 15, 2020
3) As both a human being and an epidemiologist—it makes me sick to see this insider privilege and injustice. Christie isn’t even an essential govt employee or elected official anymore. He’s nothing more than a political ally of Trump. And that smacks of disgusting injustice.
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 16, 2020
Absolutely! Christie is a walking collection of comorbidities. The difference in outcomes is access to care and privilege.
— Stay off the Bus Ghouls 👻🎃🚍 (@SCJ_BusRules) October 16, 2020
🙄When you have 7 days in isolation in #ICU you have time to do a lot of thinking
🙄Like Trump, he also got access to experimental antibody treatment (not available to general public, not FDA approved)
— Laurel Coons 🧬🧬🧬 (@LaurelCoons) October 16, 2020
Chris Christie ALSO got the experimental antibody treatment. Wow!
If Christie had fallen sick w/COVID in March, in NYC, it might have been a death sentence.
But of course, these therapies aren’t available to us. Glad he’s preaching public health now!
— Lia’sGrandma (@SusanHaine) October 16, 2020
How does Christie–a person who holds no office and performs no useful activity–qualify for an experimental antibody therapy outside a clinical trial?
— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) October 16, 2020
So Trump and Chris Christie both received REGN-COV2 experimental antibody treatment for COVID.
— 🐾Angie K 💙🔬🧫 (@angie_keathly) October 16, 2020
Big shock…Chris Christie spent 7 days in the ICU with COVID and received both remdesivir and the Eli Lilly experimental antibody treatment that’s not even FDA approved directly from the manufacturer so tell me again how everyone gets the same treatment https://t.co/ytBTT2lYFk
— Icculus The Brave (@FirenzeMike) October 16, 2020
Like Trump, Christie was treated w a drug no normal person could get
“He was treated with a combination of blood thinners, the Ebola drug remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly.” https://t.co/bfAWH3X89g
— Drogon (@drogon_dracarys) October 16, 2020
So, another “VIP” who got access to limited doses of an experimental antibody drug – this time $LLY?
So why did @GovChristie get access when other Americans aren’t?
What made Christie eligible above other Americans for the drug?
— Donna Young (@DonnaYoungDC) October 15, 2020
Insider privilege. 🍩Chris Christie🍩 didn’t die. But we can. ⚰️1 out of every 1,600 Americans has DIED from Covid- 19⚰️ https://t.co/BBHyEmPhug
— ChopinsHeart_In Flight the Albatross Sleeps (@chopinsheart) October 16, 2020
“Christie was also treated with an experimental antibody cocktail and remdesivir”
8 MILLION American COVID-patients: pic.twitter.com/d9KGke5BTQ
— NotATweeter16 (@NotATweeter16) October 15, 2020
What about the rest of it? That every American citizen should have access to the treatment he received. And not be bankrupted for it. So maybe working for the team that wants to take away health ins from millions of people has the wrong idea? And that to do that now is evil?
— !broken need a fix🇺🇸 (@brokenNotRecord) October 16, 2020