Governor Abbott, FDA Commissioner, CDC Director Hold Call With Texas Hospitals To Discuss COVID-19 Therapeutics

December 18, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today held a call with hospital CEOs and representatives across Texas to discuss the importance of COVID-19 therapeutic antibody treatments in the state's fight against COVID-19. The Governor was joined for the call by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD.

A readout of the call can be found below:

Governor Abbott began the call by thanking hospital leaders for addressing the health care needs in their communities. The Governor stressed the important role of therapeutic antibody treatments in the state's ongoing fight against COVID-19 and encouraged health care systems to utilize these tools to reduce hospitalizations.

Following the Governor's remarks, Dr. Redfield discussed the advancement of therapeutics since the beginning of the pandemic — including remdesivir, bamlanivimab, convalescent plasma, and the monoclonal antibody therapy created by Regeneron. Dr. Redfield noted that despite the availability and effectiveness of these treatments, they have not been operationalized fully and should play a much larger role in mitigating COVID-19. He noted that these therapeutics are designed for outpatient use, especially for those who are at greatest risk for hospitalization, and encouraged hospitals to set up a system for people to be evaluated for these treatments immediately upon a positive COVID-19 test.

Dr. Hahn discussed the FDA's emergency use authorization for therapeutics. He also explained the mechanisms and processes for administering therapeutics and strongly urged hospitals to utilize these treatments in order to reduce hospitalizations. 

Dr. Hellerstedt discussed the benefits of expanding access and optimization of therapeutic treatments in Texas. He noted that therapeutics have helped communities respond to COVID-19 by not only shortening stays in the hospital but reducing hospitalizations altogether. Dr. Hellerstedt stressed that the state of Texas has plenty of antibody treatments that are ready to be used by hospitals and healthcare systems across the state and encouraged these health care entities to request these treatments through DSHS.

Governor Abbott concluded the call by restating the importance for hospitals to take full advantage of these antibody treatments. The Governor noted that the state of Texas is ready to work alongside hospitals and health systems to expand access and utilization of these treatments in communities across the state.

CEOs and representatives from the following hospitals and hospital systems were on the call:

  • CHI St. Luke's Health 
  • HCA Gulf Coast Division 
  • Texas Health Resources
  • Parkland Hospital
  • Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio
  • Valley Baptist Medical Center
  • The Hospitals of Providence 
  • Memorial Hermann Health System
  • Houston Methodist
  • Children's Health Dallas
  • Texas Children's Hospital 
  • Hill Country Memorial 
  • Medical Center Health System 
  • Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Ascension Austin
  • CHRISTUS Health
  • Texas Hospitals Association
  • Teaching Hospitals of Texas
  • Texas Organizations of Rural Community Hospitals
  • Children's Hospital Association of Texas
  • Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council
  • Texas Association of Voluntary Hospitals 
  • Paris Regional Medical Center