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The Biden administration is cutting back the supply of monoclonal antibodies, a COVID-19 treatment featuring a lab-engineered protein, in several red states. There has been a backlash to the reduction of the potentially lifesaving treatment, especially in Florida, where monoclonal antibodies are being used the most.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that the agency is taking over the distribution of monoclonal antibodies to states. Previously, the states ordered therapeutics from the federal government.
“HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis. State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much,” an HHS spokesman told the Washington Post . “This system will help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country — providing states and territories with consistent, fairly-distributed supply over the coming weeks.” The policy shift will affect seven red states the most: Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, which have accounted for 70% of monoclonal antibodies orders, CNN reported.
“Given this reality, we must work to ensure our supply of these life-saving therapies remains available for all states and territories, not just some,” an HHS spokesperson said .
Florida has received the most doses of monoclonal antibodies, followed by Texas. Florida received 30,950 doses this week, after the Sunshine State requested 72,000 doses, according to the governor’s office. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis established 25 clinics that offer monoclonal antibody treatments; the first was opened on Aug. 12 in Jacksonville. The clinics have administered 90,000 monoclonal antibody doses, according to DeSantis.
DeSantis slammed President Joe Biden for the “abrupt” cut in monoclonal antibodies.
“We are very, very concerned with the Biden administration and the HHS’s recent, abrupt, sudden announcement that they are going to dramatically cut the number of monoclonal antibodies that are going to be sent to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Thursday. “There’s going to be a huge disruption and patients are going to suffer as a result of this.”
“We’ve been thrown a major curveball here with a really huge cut,” DeSantis […]
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