Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated on Thursday that President Biden is causing a “huge disruption” in his state’s battle against COVID-19 by altering how the government gives out monoclonal antibody treatments (mAbs).
The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) said this week that it was moving from a direct-ordering system for the treatment to a “state-coordinated system.” The change occurred after the HHS determined that 70% of mAbs were being requested by only seven states, which are mostly concentrated in the southern United States as it was hit hard by the delta strain.
Florida was the leading recipient of mAbs before to the shift, with Georgia, Texas and Mississippi also coming in high, according to the HHS data. Now, instead of treatment sites ordering from suppliers, weekly distribution limits will be decided by Biden’s HHS based on COVID-19 hospitalizations and case numbers, and state governments will then be for the distribution of mAbs they are given.
WH press secretary Jen Psaki stated on Thursday that the administration is boosting its total distribution by 50% for the month, but that states with lower vaccinations “such as Florida and Texas” are hogging the supply: “Our supply is not unlimited, and we think there should be equitable access across states and the nation.”
REPORTER: "Why is the Biden administration cutting" antibody treatments in Florida?@PressSec: "That is not accurate… Our supply is not unlimited and we believe it should be equitable… We're not going to give a greater percentage to Florida over Oklahoma." pic.twitter.com/K8P41ZTnRc
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 16, 2021
Florida’s vaccination is higher than the nationwide average, at 55.6% compared to the national average of 54.2%.
Regeneron said this week that the Biden White House had agreed to buy 1.4 million more doses of mAbs. According to emails given to the DeSantis administration, HHS gave no indication there was a limit of supply before to this policy shift.
On Aug. 29, the Florida Dept. of Health (FDOH) and the federal HHS agreed to a plan of 50,000 doses of mAbs each week through Sept. 19. Florida was informed that its supply for the week of September 13 would be below 31,000 doses, which the state says is under half of its demand.
“We are very worried with the Biden White House and the HHS’s sudden announcement that they will dramatically lower the amount of monoclonal antibodies that will be sent to Florida,” DeSantis said at a media conference Thursday. “Just last week on Sept. 9th, President Biden said that his team would increase shipments of monoclonal antibodies for this month by 50%, and yet on Sept. 13th, HHS said it was taking control of the supply and that it would control distribution. And then on Sept. 14th, the announcement was over 50% of the monoclonal antibodies that were used in this state were going to be lowered.”
“The Biden administration is lowering what goes to the state. There will be a huge disruption and patients will suffer because of this.”
Author: Steven Sinclaire