Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday continued his direct challenge to President Joe Biden, calling on the White House to permit his state to provide monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients.
At a news conference to hit Biden administration restrictions on Florida's ability to provide monoclonal antibody treatments, DeSantis offered up some stinging criticism. "We're past the point now where we're able to get it directly from any of these companies," DeSantis told the reporters. "The federal government has cornered the entire market. They basically took control of the supply in September."
The Biden administration has required states to order both Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments through the Department of Health and Human Services to "help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country."
"The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.," Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo wrote in a letter last week to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "The sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a healthcare provider's ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in this state."
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has also asked Biden for help with monoclonal antibody treatments.
"Testing sites, additional medical staff, and continued shipments of therapeutics from the federal government will help us continue to save lives and mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Abbott said.
Recently, the administration, which has put most of its COVID response energy behind vaccinations and boosters, said it would halting distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments to states amid evidence challenging effectiveness. But in response to a letter from Ladapo, the administration reversed its decision, allowing states to continue to order these treatments through the allocation system, DeSantis’ press office said.
But the state needs more than it has been allocated, the governor says..
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