The governor also announced new treatment sites in several Florida counties.
“Last week we were concerned about what was happening with the taking back of the supply,” DeSantis said. “We pushed back against that [and] asked them to stop preventing the distribution of these treatments.”
DeSantis fought for a renewed allocation after the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Dec. 23 that it was pausing “any further allocations of bamlanivimab and etesevimab together, etesevimab alone, and REGEN-COV” because of their alleged ineffectiveness in treating the Omicron variant.
In a Dec. 28 letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo accused the federal government of “actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.” and causing “another immediate and life-threatening shortage of treatment options to the State of Florida.”
— Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD (@FLSurgeonGen) December 29, 2021
“Fortunately, yesterday, the HHS reversed course,” the Florida governor continued.
The federal government has artificially restricted the supply of monoclonal antibody treatments since September in order to punish “areas of the country with low vaccination rates.”
“The increased incidence of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has caused a substantial surge in the utilization of monoclonal antibody (mAb) drugs, particularly in areas of the country with low vaccination rates,” said the HHS in a Sept. 13 press release announcing its change.
The restriction of treatment has led to dramatic consequences in several states.