Rep. Roy leads effort demanding HHS not racially discriminate on distributing COVID treatments

November 16, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, Congressman Chip Roy (TX-21) and his GOP colleagues submitted a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra calling for answers on reports indicating that monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for COVID-19 are being distributed based on race. 


The letter reads: “Despite HHS saying it is “dedicated to transparency throughout this effort” multiple attempts from Congress to better understand HHS’s role in regulating the mAb supply chain and distribution have gone unanswered. Now, we have heard of instances of individuals being refused mAb treatments, with a recent case regarding a man in Texas being refused treatment based on the color of his skin.


This letter comes after HHS failed to respond to a letter sent on September 13, 2021 inquiring about whether there was a current or expected shortage of monoclonal antibody treatments.


Following HHS’s announcement to change their ordering process, they held a telephonic briefing for Members of Congress on September 17, 2021.  Members of Congress repeatedly asked if there was concern for a shortage of monoclonal (mAb) antibody treatments now or in the future, and questions regarding manufacturing treatment and how that compared to demand.  These questions were not answered.  


“If there is no supply issue, as your Department’s silence would indicate, then why is HHS rationing the treatment?” The letter continues: “Additionally, under no circumstance should an individual be turned away from receiving medical care due to the color of his or her skin. Refusing to care for an individual based on the color of his or her skin raises very serious questions about potential violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any guidelines, regulations, directives, or policies of any kind causing any doctor to deny access to care based on skin color should be immediately prohibited by your Department.”


The members gave a deadline of November 29, 2021 to answer the questions in the letter.

Full text of the letter is available at the link here.