Watch Gov. Greg Abbott discuss distribution of COVID-19 antibody therapy at 1 p.m.

Watch Gov. Greg Abbott discuss distribution of COVID-19 antibody therapy at 1 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott will discuss the distribution of a COVID-19 antibody therapy on Thursday at 1 p.m. from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.

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.

The press conference is scheduled as new daily cases of coronavirus and hospitalizations are reaching troubling levels heading into the holidays, where travel and Thanksgiving celebrations could lead to an explosive outbreak, health experts have warned. Abbott has not issued any warnings or advice about the upcoming holidays, even as he tried to clamp down on gatherings during the Fourth of July weekend, warning if “people gather on Fourth of July the same way they did in Memorial Day it is going to lead to a massive increase” in cases.

Abbott’s last press conference on the coronavirus was Sept. 17, when he expanded restaurant and business occupancy from 50% to 75% of capacity.

Abbott’s approach so far to the latest COVID-19 wave to hit Texas is a departure from his handling this summer — when metrics were similarly high and he responded with a statewide mask mandate and shutdown of bars. Recently, the Republican governor has indicated he will stay the course and rely on regional restrictions based on hospital capacity. However, local officials in El Paso, Harris and Dallas counties have urged for more authority to impose local restrictions to combat spread.

Watch live beginning at 1 p.m. Central time, courtesy of NBC DFW.

Source: Texas Tribune