Utah says COVID treatment scoring review has nothing to do with Tucker Carlson

Utah’s risk factors for determining who is eligible for limited monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 are being reassessed, the state’s health department said on Tuesday, a day after the host of Fox News, Tucker Carlson, slammed Utah and other states for giving more weight to non-whites.

“No one automatically qualifies for treatment based on their race / ethnicity,” Utah Department of Health spokesperson Tom Hudachko said in a statement on the “Risk Score Calculator. The state’s COVID-19 treatment, ”created in 2020 to help determine who is most at risk for serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus.

But Hudachko told Deseret News he had “no idea what Tucker Carlson said” about Utah, so the decision to review the risk factors is “unrelated to what he said”.

The calculator assigns points to various factors, including 0.05 for each decade of age; one for each man and / or having various specific comorbidities including hypertension, congestive heart failure and chronic liver or kidney disease.

The highest number of points awarded, two each, are awarded for obesity, diabetes or severe immune deficiency; or to be “non-white or Hispanic / Latinx”. Unvaccinated Utahns now need at least 7.5 points to qualify for treatment, or at least 10 if fully vaccinated, according to the document.

The necessary scores were increased last week as omicron limited the availability of intravenous therapy, as two of the three available types were not effective against the extremely fast-spreading COVID-19 variant which has spiked the number of cases in the country. Utah more than double. record levels.

The Utahns were warned by healthcare providers on Thursday that there was only enough treatment for 1 in 100 people who would qualify due to the state’s “truly dire stance on COVID- 19 ”. On Tuesday, the state’s health department reported 9,813 new cases and 15 more deaths from the virus, including three that occurred before December 11.

Hudachko said the scarcity was the reason the factors were reassessed last week and are being reviewed again.

“The use of the COVID-19 Treatment Risk Score Calculator has evolved throughout the pandemic, but has always relied on current clinical data from COVID-19 patients. Given the extreme scarcity of COVID-19 treatments due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant, we are re-evaluating the calculator and comparing it to current data, ”he said.

Gov. Spencer Cox’s office said it had received around 50 calls regarding Carlson’s claims on Fox News that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments were being refused due to race, pointing to Utah, New York, Minnesota and other states. The Fox News host cited the Utah Rating System.

Utah has “sorted” COVID-19 patients using a scoring system that Carlson said “gives anyone two points just for not being white.” You win if you are not white. If you have congestive heart failure at the same time, you get a point. So if you are a white patient with congestive heart failure, this is not enough for you. “

Carlson went on to say that what Utah and other states are doing “it’s not health care, it’s punishment, it’s punishment imposed on the basis of skin color.” , which he says is justified because “the United States has abused racial minorities in centuries past,” they say. Therefore, whites must suffer now.

The risk factors, Hudashko said, came from a subcommittee of the Utah Crisis Care Standards Workgroup and are based on data and research provided by Intermountain Healthcare. The standards put in place by the working group aim to define how health care should be rationed, as demand exceeds what is available.

Health system research has evaluated more than 100,000 Utahns who have tested positive for COVID-19, taking into account variables such as age, gender, symptoms, chronic disease and geography, and found that non-whites or Hispanics / Latinxes are 35 to 50% more likely to be hospitalized, Hudachko said.

Although race does not automatically qualify someone to receive monoclonal antibody treatment, other factors do, such as living in a long-term care facility, being unvaccinated and pregnant, or having severe immunocompromised disease, did he declare.

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