Trump’s Covid-19 Treatment Included Abortion-Derived Stem Cells
On Wednesday, MIT Technology Review reported that Trump’s antibody treatment was “tested using cells originally derived from an abortion.”
“The emergency antibody that Trump received last week was developed with the use of a cell line originally derived from abortion tissue,” they added. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, who supplied the drug, confirmed the information.
Trump received anti-coronavirus antibodies that were manufactured from a hamster’s ovaries. To test the antibodies, Regeneron used HEK 293T cells, which came from kidney tissue of an aborted human fetus.
Interestingly enough, the aborted fetus isn’t from a recent procedure, but rather an abortion from the Netherlands in the 1970s. The cells from that abortion decades ago have continued to regenerate and mutate in a process known as “immortalization.”
The Trump administration has been hostile to stem cell research. In 2019, a new policy required an ethics review for any research that involved fetal tissue cells at the United National Institutes of Health. The ethics board was stacked with, of course, anti-abortion activists.
This new board has reviewed 14 research grants for using stem cells to treat a variety of illnesses like Parkinson’s, diabetes, and H.I.V./AIDS. It has rejected 13 of them.
This is normally when I make a Trump hypocrisy point.
“The Trump administration has looked to curtail research with fetal cells. But when it was life or death for the president, no one objected,” noted Antonio Regalado, the author of the MIT Technology Review article. “…(W)hen the president faced a deadly encounter with Covid-19, his administration raised no objections over the fact that the new drugs also relied on fetal cells,” he added.
“Trump’s antibody treatment wouldn’t exist without legal abortions,” Input’s Jay Fergus said.
This is also a time where I could make a privilege argument. Trump reaps the reward of past fetal cell research, while continuing to make further advancements to help others more improbable.
Instead, I’ll say this. I’m glad that Regeneron was able to study HEK 293T cells, and they weren’t told by some special interest ethics board they couldn’t.
Trump effectively ended fetal tissue research a year ago. Now, it just may have saved his life.