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Sen. Hurtado Urges Gov. Newsom to Change COVID-19 Strategy

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State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, a Sanger Democrat, called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to change California’s COVID-19 strategy on Friday.

Hurtado’s push came after the state reported a one-day record of 764 COVID-19 deaths for Thursday. There have been 3.12 million positive cases and 35,701 coronavirus-related deaths in the state.

portrait of state Sen. Melissa Hurtado

“We are nearly a year into this pandemic and it has been one crisis after another.” — State Sen. Melissa Hurtado 

Hurtado specifically wants Newsom to increase access to monoclonal antibody treatments. President Donald Trump received the treatment after his diagnosis with the coronavirus last year.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses.

FDA Approved Treatments in November

In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized monoclonal antibodies for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 88 pounds and at high risk for hospitalization.

“We are nearly a year into this pandemic and it has been one crisis after another. Vaccine approval and distribution have brought hope to our communities, but we need to be realistic about the current movement,” Hurtado said in a news release.

“We are facing a surge, and vaccine distribution has been slow, to say the least. In order to save lives and prevent hospitalizations, we need to make monoclonal antibody treatment available today. We need to consider having mobile clinics to provide equitable access to our most vulnerable populations.”

The treatments, according to the FDA, reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations and emergency room visits in clinical trials.

State Last in the Nation in COVID Vaccination Usage Rates

Meanwhile, California has dropped to last in the nation in COVID-19 vaccination usage rates.

And, of the country’s six largest states, California remains the only one with a vaccination usage rate below 40%. California is at 37.3%.

That compares to the national average of 48.6%, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.

California’s ratio of 82,680 COVID-19 cases per 1 million residents exceeds the national average of 74,913 per million.