Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to “fight like hell” to overcome what he called a “cruel decision” by President Biden’s administration “to drastically reduce lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments for Floridians.”
The state had been ordering around 72,000 doses of the treatment, according to the Republican governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, with DeSantis making a big push for people with COVID-19 to get monoclonal antibody treatments to help avoid being hospitalized.
The Department of Health and Human Services will reportedly begin allocating just 30,950 doses to Florida.
Speaking at a news conference at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, DeSantis said the state will have to make up for the “dramatic reduction.” He pointed out that Biden recently said he would be increasing the doses sent to states by 50% in September, yet HHS is now cutting Florida by that margin. In addition, Florida’s now responsible for distributing doses to all providers.
“To just spring this on us, starting next week we’re gonna have to do that,” he said. “There’s going to be a huge disruption, and patients are going to suffer as a result of this. And so we’re going to work like hell to make sure that we can overcome the obstacles that HHS and the Biden administration are putting in.”
I will fight like hell to overcome Biden’s cruel decision to drastically reduce lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments for Floridians. We’ve seen steep reductions in hospital admissions due to early treatment efforts. It’s wrong to penalize Florida for his partisan bitterness. pic.twitter.com/24APj0r50K
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 17, 2021
DeSantis dismissed the “equity” justification coming from the administration, saying Florida and other states in the south have had “higher prevalence.”
“Part of the reason we have used a lot is I have made it a priority in the in the state of Florida,” he explained. “It had not been a priority at the federal government level for months and months and months.”
While DeSantis is a favorite whipping boy for the media, since making monoclonal antibody treatments a priority there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of hospitalizations.
ℹ Florida COVID-19 Update for September 16, 2021
🚨 Total Confirmed Hospitalizations: 9,917 pic.twitter.com/Hsj1Yh5N7M
— Florida Hospital Association (@FLHospitalAssn) September 16, 2021
Overall, according to DeSantis, more than 90,000 doses have been administered at the state’s 25 monoclonal antibody sites.
“If you look at the declines we’ve seen, clearly we’ve kept thousands of people out of the hospital who were able to get the early treatment,” he said.
“I think if the federal government from the beginning had said, ‘get vaccinated but then if you get infected, here’s a great thing,’ I think we could have averted in this country a lot of people going to the hospital, and I think it would have saved a lot of lives,” DeSantis added.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., posted a video online blasting the Biden administration, saying they are “punishing” Florida for not pushing vaccine mandates by “rationing” monoclonal antibody treatments despite there being no shortage.
“This reeks of politics,” Rubio said, adding, “This is ridiculous. This is outrageous. People see it for what it is. These people are completely out of control.”
“These people are bordering now on tyranny. And it’s outrageous. It has to stop.” he concluded.
Every day it’s something new with these people in the White House
The decision to ration antibody treatments proves they focused on public health
What they want is power and control pic.twitter.com/UYcFxwJx2D
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 16, 2021
Critics have been hitting DeSantis for not pushing vaccines with the same energy he pushes monoclonal antibody treatments.
Responding to that claim, Pushaw tweeted Thursday: “Florida is above average in vaccination rate. More than half of the patients in south Florida getting monoclonal antibody treatment are vaccinated and have breakthrough infections. Vaccinated or unvaccinated – Denying treatment to Covid patients is wrong.”
- Inspired by Clapton, Travis Tritt takes a stand for ‘freedom’ and cancels 4 shows over pandemic protocols - October 19, 2021
- Tucker marks Colin Powell’s passing by citing the meritocracy America once stood for, and how far we’ve fallen - October 19, 2021
- Passenger dubbed ‘Airplane Karen’ brings her own microphone to launch into midflight pandemic rant - October 19, 2021