This week, Trump's opponents misunderstood a Regeneron press release to conclude that the REG-COV2 treatment (which may have saved his life) was created from stem cells. When that was proven false, his opponents nonetheless deliberately misinterpreted events to conclude there was still an ethical paradox. I've read the scientific papers and it seems like this is an issue that can be understood with basic high-school science, so I thought I'd write up a detailed discussion.
The short answer is this:
- The drug is not manufactured in any way from human embryonic tissues.
- The drug was tested using fetal/embryonic cells, but ones almost 50 years old, not new ones.
- Republicans want to stop using new embryos, the ethical issue here is the continued use of old embryos, which Republican have consistently agreed to.
- Yes, the drug is still tainted by the "embryonic stem cell" issue -- just not in any of the ways that people claim it is, and not in a way that makes Republicans inconsistent.
- Almost all medical advances of the last few decades are similarly tainted.
An antibody is just another "protein", the building blocks of the body. The protein is in the shape of a Y with the two upper tips formed to lock onto the corresponding parts of a virus ("antigens"). Every new virus requires a new antibody with different tips.