Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo dispatched a searing letter to the Biden administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, accusing the administration of “actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.”
According to the letter which was addressed to Secretary Xavier Becerra, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had in August, “announced a rapid increase in the availability of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments across the state,” adding 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 added. “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.”
In the letter, Ladapo pointed out that as soon as Florida had reached 100,000 with its program of monoclonal antibody treatments, Biden’s 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,” stated Ladapo.
“The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.,” Ladapo alleged.
“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,” he continued. “This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.”
Ladapo’s letter comes following the Biden administration’s decision to pause shipment of COVID-19 antibody treatments produced by Regeneron and Eli Lilly following claims that the treatments are ineffective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Fox News reported.
The Biden administration in September announced it was halting treatments of monoclonal antibody drugs to seven states, including Florida, because those states were using 70% of the available supply, WFLA reported.
The federal government continues to supply Sotrovimab, a monoclonal treatment from GlaxoSmithKline, which is reportedly efficacious against Omicron. Florida insists that Regeneron can still be used in existing Delta cases, which are more virulent than Omicron infections.
Ladopo ended his letter with a reference to Biden’s remarks on Monday when he said the federal government did not have a solution to the pandemic, and instead placed the burden of dealing with rising infections on state governments.
“There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level,” said Biden.