Governor Ron DeSantis is calling on Joe Biden’s administration to stop withholding monoclonal antibody treatments. DeSantis of the treatments, “there is no need for it just to be sitting on the shelves.” The Miami Herald reports:
With COVID-19 cases soaring in Florida and the United States, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said that the omicron variant of the coronavirus driving the surge in new infections generally causes mild illness, that most COVID-positive patients in hospitals now were admitted for other medical reasons, and that the federal government is holding back on one of the few approved medical treatments for the disease.
Speaking at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, and surrounded by the leaders of Florida’s health agencies, DeSantis urged calm in the face of rising infections, questioned the value of vaccination against COVID-19 and called on the federal government to send an additional 30,000 to 40,000 doses of monoclonal antibodies to Florida.
DeSantis said the state would open new monoclonal antibody treatment sites “immediately” — including in the hardest hit counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — if the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS were to ship more doses of the drugs to Florida, where a standing order from the state surgeon general allows anyone with COVID-19 or exposed to the virus and at risk for severe illness to receive the therapy without a doctor’s prescription or referral.
The governor said the state would consider lifting the standing order, given the very limited supply of monoclonal antibodies, but he put the blame for Florida’s shortage of the drugs squarely on the Biden administration.
“We feel there is no need for it just to be sitting on the shelves,” DeSantis said. “We asked them to stop preventing the distribution of these treatments.”
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