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DeSantis blows up Biden for reduction in antibody treatment supply

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded to the Biden administration’s decision on Thursday to cut life-saving coronavirus treatments for sick Americans as his feud with Republican governors escalates, vowing to “work like hell to get them the treatment “they need.

This week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Biden administration revealed it will cut life-saving antibody therapy in states in search of “equitable distribution,” despite the fact that Biden pledged last week to “pick up the average pace.” nationwide shipments of free monoclonal antibody treatments by an additional 50%. “

But now the administration sees demand in the southern states as a problem and is reducing supply.

“We are very, very concerned about the Biden administration and the recent, abrupt and sudden announcement from HHS that they are going to drastically reduce the number of monoclonal antibodies that are going to be sent to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. , noting that early treatment of the virus must be part of the approach to tackling the pandemic, especially as the fall and winter outbreaks approach in other parts of the country.

DeSantis reminded reporters of Biden’s initial announcement last week to “increase” shipments by 50%. Yet days later, federal officials announced that they were taking control and would control the distribution.

DeSantis continued:

What the HHS and the Biden administration are doing now is they say all of the reduced amount will go to the state, and we are responsible for not just supplying our sites, which we are happy to do. do, but any infusion center, any provider, any hospital, will have to go through the state. And to get this started from next week, are we going to have to do it? There is going to be a huge disruption and the patients are going to suffer. And so we’re going to work like hell to make sure we can overcome whatever hurdles the HHS and the Biden administration are putting us.

DeSantis responded to the claim that the administration’s official decision is rooted in concerns of fairness, but noted that the South had a higher prevalence of the virus this summer. He also noted that the treatment is used a lot in the Sunshine State because it has raised awareness and made it a priority. It was not a priority at the federal level for “months and months and months,” he added.

“We saw the need. We have seen patients arrive. We have seen a lack of understanding among the population. 100 percent of our population knew there were vaccines. I’d bet less than 10 percent probably had a solid understanding of monoclonal antibodies, ”DeSantis said, adding that they“ saw this deficiency ”and acted on it.

“We saw a lot of doctors didn’t even know it was an option, so we took action. We were able to raise awareness and expand access to people, which is very important. It should be celebrated, ”he said, noting the more than 90,000 people who would not have received treatment otherwise. Thousands of people could have ended up in hospital, and some of the cases could have been fatal, he added.

“It saved lives here in the state of Florida,” he added.

DeSantis said the demand for life-saving treatments has naturally increased across the country, as many people were unaware it was an option.

“But man, pulling the rug out from under anyone a week after the president said they were going to increase distributions by 50% is very, very problematic,” he said. , promising that the state would cover its bases. and fight to leave “no stone unturned” to remedy the cut.

“Those who need treatment, we are going to work like hell to get them treated,” DeSantis added.