WH Plans to Increase Access to Paxlovid and 'Test-to-Treat' Sites

Image copyright: Pfizer/AP [via USA Today]

The Facts

  • The White House has announced plans to better distribute Paxlovid, the oral antiviral that has been found to reduce the chance of severe COVID in high-risk individuals, in an effort to keep coronavirus death rates low compared to a recent increase in cases. The first "test to treat" clinics will be set up in RI, NY, IL, and MN.

  • This comes amidst reporting of a Paxlovid "rebound effect," where a person tests negative for several days after treatment but then tests positive again, which is said to happen in a small percentage of patients. However, the total number of rebound cases may be increasing.

The Spin

Democratic narrative

Now's the time to prepare for another potential virus surge or outbreak in the future. This means budgetary commitments to strengthen the country's pandemic surveillance system, maintain testing infrastructure, and protect our most vulnerable citizens with boosters, antivirals such as Paxlovid, and other precautions. We need to put financial skin in the game.

Republican narrative

Democrats can't have it both ways. They can't devote billions to COVID treatments like Paxlovid and preventative measures at the same time they're trying to end the Title 42 immigration policy based on the notion that we're out of the COVID era. Which one is it?

Narrative C

It's possible that the "Paxlovid Rebound Effect" is actually a broader "COVID Rebound Effect" and is occurring whether one has the antivirals or not. These cases have reportedly happened throughout the pandemic, but unfortunately there's been little data to date. This gets messy - there are public health pros and cons in asking people isolate if they test positive again.

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