Vice President Kamala Harris is raising eyebrows among some within the medical community as it was reported that she is taking an antiviral pill used to treat severe COVID-19 cases even though she has said she has no COVID-19 symptoms.
Following a consultation with her doctors, Harris, 57, was prescribed and took Paxlovid, Pfizer’s new pill to treat high-risk patients who test postive for COVID-19, which had received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in December. Harris is double-vaxxed and asymptomic, so it is unclear why she was prescribed treatment reserved for people at moderate to high risk of severe complications.
Jerome Adams, former Surgeon General under President Trump, tweeted about the decision to give Paxlovid to the VP, especially since many Americans with severe symptoms and risk factors are unable to acquire the treatment:
Asymptomatic covid and no medical issues isn’t an indication for Paxlovid.
And this same media wanted minute by minute updates and speculated endlessly about Trumps underlying health status based upon the treatments he was or wasn’t getting…🤷🏽♂️
— Jerome Adams (@JeromeAdamsMD) April 27, 2022
Also weighing in was Jonathan Reiner, Professor of Medicine and Surgery at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, who questioned why a healthy, aymptomic women would require this new pill since the EUA considers her to be ineligible:
2 points to make about this. First we were told yesterday that the VP was asymptomatic. Why would you give Paxlovid to someone without symptoms? Second, the EUA is for people at moderate to high risk of severe complications. The VP is apparently not eligible under the EUA. https://t.co/aFEeXS1s6o
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) April 27, 2022
The efficacy of the new pill was not lost on White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, who said that Paxlovid should be given only to those in the high risk group for developing severe symptoms. However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to do a bit of damage control as it appears the VP may either be sicker than than previously indicated, or received prefential treatment for the EUA-approved pill given her high-profile position.
‘Well, he [Jha] also said … that you should consult with your doctor, and she consulted with her doctor,’ Psaki said…’She has been given Paxlovid. That’s something many Americans may be eligible for. They should also consult with their doctor. And I think overall, we’re just grateful that this is an approved drug on the market that many people can benefit from, including the vice president.’
We know that high-ranking public officals move to the front of the line when it comes to high-level medical care and, as an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist who advised the Biden White House on COVID-19 said: It’s not just about what is best for that patient – it’s about what’s best for the nation.
Harris continues to self-isolate and says she is following CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted, the veep tweeted.