FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky hospitals used monoclonal antibodies more than 5,000 times last week to treat COVID-19 patients.

What You Need To Know

  • The federal government is starting to ration monoclonal antibody treatments

  • Gov. Andy Beshear said with the shortage, more people should get vaccinated for COVID-19

  • Beshear also responded to lawmakers who want him to call another special session during his COVID update Monday

  • Beshear also announced the road between the Kentucky State Capitol and the Capitol Annex will permanently close soon

Due to the short supply, the state will only receive 4,960 doses, and Gov. Andy Beshear said it’ll only get worse from here.

“There’s not going to be enough anywhere. Anywhere,” Beshear said. “There’s going to be too few everywhere and we’re already seeing hospitals and other providers run out before the end of each week.”

He said it’s also all the more reason to get vaccinated.  

“Get it because it protects you, but I tell you what, if you have another family member that doesn’t want to get vaccinated, if you do, it makes it more likely that that treatment will be available for them,” Beshear said.

And as this is happening, Republican lawmakers want Beshear to call them back into session to spend up to $150 million on hospitals and nursing homes.

Beshear said there are a couple of problems with that, though.

“As of yet, no senator or representative has asked to meet with me. No one has presented me with a plan on it,” Beshear said.

The two bills Senate Republicans proposed earlier this month spend money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which Beshear said has either all been spent or earmarked for other purposes.

Beshear said the government is doing a lot to ease the burden on hospital staff, from National Guard and FEMA teams to increased testing on the state’s part.

He also said another special session could end up doing more harm than good.  

“And so even to the hospital systems, I’d say let’s make sure something that we know something is worth it because types of legislation that come out could be harmful,” Beshear said.

Lawmakers introduced the two spending plans, Senate Bill 7 and Senate Bill 8, during the special session two weeks ago, but because the governor didn’t specifically ask for it, it couldn’t be voted on.  

Capitol Security

Beshear also announced that bollards will be installed to effectively close Capitol Avenue between the Kentucky State Capitol and the Capitol Annex building.

The area has been the site of several recent protests and rallies, and it’s also an area where lawmakers frequently walk to get to committee meetings.  

Beshear said he wants to avoid a tragedy like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and like what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year.

“On the positive side, we think in the long run it gives us an opportunity to create incredible green space between the capitol and the annex where we can host functions where people can come and voice their first-amendment rights but to do it safely,” he said.

Beshear didn’t have a specific timeline for when the road will close, but he said it will be done soon.