Florida Surgeon General Calls Out Biden Admin Over Blocking Of Distribution Of Monoclonal Antibody Treatments

This past Tuesday, Joseph A. Ladopo, the Surgeon General of Florida, called out the Biden administration in the form of a scathing letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra. In this letter, he accused the administration of Old Uncle Joe of “actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.”

Ladopo highlighted that back in August, Ron DeSantis, the GOP Governor of Florida, had “announced a rapid increase in the availability of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments across the state,” going on to state that “In a matter of weeks, the state had 25 monoclonal antibody sites up and running – leading the nation in widespread early COVID-19 treatment availability.”

“By mid-September, the State of Florida provided this life-saving treatment to nearly 100,000 patients,” he went on. “These sites served 5,000 patients a day at the peak and nearly 30,000 per week. Florida pioneered monoclonal antibodies as a statewide solution to prevent severe illness and reduce the strain of COVID-19 on the state’s hospital systems.”

Ladopo made note that quite soon after Florida has treated roughly 100k people with their supply of monoclonal antibody treatments, HHS “announced a dramatic reduction in the number of monoclonal antibodies to be allocated to the State of Florida.” he stated, “Governor DeSantis moved quickly to acquire Sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline to help alleviate the artificial shortage caused by this sudden shift from HHS.”

“The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.,” accused Ladopo. “The sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a health care provider’s ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in this state. This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.”

“The Biden administration recently paused shipments of COVID-19 antibody treatments manufactured by major drug companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly amid claims that such treatments are not effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus,” reported Fox News.

A spokesperson for the Biden administration claimed back in September that it was taking steps to cut shipments of the successful treatment to seven states, which included Florida, due to the fact that those states were using almost 70% of the nation’s supply, reported WFLA.

The entire transcript of the letter is given below:

Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida led the way with our Seniors First Vaccination Initiative, providing vaccines to the state’s most vulnerable population. As of December 26, 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78.2% of eligible Floridians elected to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Without the heavy hand of government mandates, Florida is above the national average in the percent of people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The rise of the Delta variant in Florida brought challenges requiring more than one solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 12, 2021, Governor DeSantis announced a rapid increase in the availability of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments across the state. In a matter of weeks, the state had 25 monoclonal antibody sites up and running – leading the nation in widespread early COVID-19 treatment availability.

By mid-September, the State of Florida provided this life-saving treatment to nearly 100,000 patients. These sites served 5,000 patients a day at the peak and nearly 30,000 per week. Florida pioneered monoclonal antibodies as a statewide solution to prevent severe illness and reduce the strain of COVID-19 on the state’s hospital systems.

Shortly after Florida’s 100,000 treatment milestone, and without any advanced notice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a dramatic reduction in the number of monoclonal antibodies to be allocated to the State of Florida. Governor DeSantis moved quickly to acquire Sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline to help alleviate the artificial shortage caused by this sudden shift from HHS. However, the lack of allocation of this life-saving treatment from the federal government continues to cause another immediate and life-threatening shortage of treatment options to the State of Florida as the variant spreads throughout the state.

While administration of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments in Florida is shifting back to the private health care sector, and there is growing evidence that some treatment options may not be as effective against the Omicron variant, the federal agencies under your control should not limit our state’s access to any available treatments for COVID-19. Florida can expand treatment options for patients by distributing therapeutics to providers working in areas with a low prevalence of Omicron or clinics capable of variant screening.

The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S. The sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a health care provider’s ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in this state. This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.

Florida is a large, diverse state with one of the highest percentages of seniors in the U.S., and we must empower healthcare providers to make decisions that will save the lives of Americans everywhere without the dictates imposed by the federal government.

President Biden recently stated that there is no federal solution to COVID-19, and solving this pandemic will happen at the state level. Therefore, as Surgeon General, I respectfully respect that you allow states and healthcare practitioners to provide treatment options that best benefit the communities they know and serve.

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