LUBBOCK, Texas -- Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday touted the arrival of a new antibody treatment as progress in Texas' fight against the coronavirus, while again ruling out any new statewide business restrictions as the state experiences alarming growth in cases and hospitalizations.
Bamlanivimab, a new drug therapy from the Eli Lilly and Co., is not a vaccine, but has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to treat coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms before they require hospitalization.
The medicine has shown signs that it improves coronavirus symptoms sooner, reducing the need for hospitalization.
Texas received about 5,700 vials of the drug. Allocated shipments of the therapy to hospitals throughout the state, including those in El Paso, is being provided at no cost through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile as Texas shattered a single-day record Thursday with 12,000 new coronavirus cases reported, Abbott once again ruled out another lockdown and accused local leaders of not enforcing existing restrictions.
"It is important for everybody in the state to know that statewide we’re not gonna have another shutdown," Abbott said during a news conference in Lubbock. "There's an overestimation of exactly what a shutdown will achieve, and there's a misunderstanding about what a shutdown will not achieve."
The governor, who issued a stay-at-home order in April, contended that "there are now known severe medical consequences to that — emotional, mental-type consequences to it — as well as the devastating financial consequences."
While Texans wait for widely available treatments and vaccines, Abbott said, they should "remember the habits that got us through a prior spike of Covid-19 cases in July" — things like staying home if possible, wearing masks, social distancing and using hand sanitizer.
"We've been there before, we can do it again," Abbott said.