Gov. DeSantis bashes reduction in COVID-19 treatment flowing to Florida

DeSantis
Florida could see a 50% reduction in its supply of antibody treatment for COVID-19.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Thursday to “work like hell” to overcome the federal government’s plan to reduce Florida’s shipments of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19, which have proven a boon to reducing the number of deaths from the virus.

The Governor visited Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale to highlight the treatment’s success. Broward County hosts one of the first state-run monoclonal antibody clinics to open and there are now 25 clinics, DeSantis said.

More than 90,000 treatments have been given at sites since they were introduced in mid-August, he said. But Florida’s supply of antibody treatments is under threat from the federal government, DeSantis said.

“We are very, very concerned with the (Joe) Biden administration and the HHS (Health and Human Services) … 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.

Demand for the treatment, known under the name Regeneron, has soared in recent weeks, as DeSantis has gone around the state talking up drug cocktail’s curative powers. He has endured criticism for promoting the treatment more forcefully than he encouraged preventative vaccines.

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will, at least temporarily, set the rules for distribution of monoclonal antibodies instead of allowing states, medical facilities and doctors to order them directly, the Washington Post reported.

And that will likely mean Florida will be get less of the monoclonal antibodies, maybe half what the state has been getting, DeSantis said.

“There’s going to be a huge disruption and Florida is going to suffer as a result of this,” he said.

DeSantis, who has shrugged off suggestions that he’s running for President in 2024, said he has taken the lead on promoting the antibody treatment while the federal government was busy promoting vaccines.

“We’re proud we acted on that, we’re proud we made a difference … but man, just to pull the rug out from everyone,” he said. “A week after the President himself said they were going to be increasing distribution by 50%…,”  he said.

DeSantis said he’s talking with GlaxoSmithKline about bringing a new cocktail, sotrovimab, to Florida to meet needs. Trials show its administration resulted in an 85% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adult outpatients compared to placebo, according to a company news release.

“We’re going to make sure we leave no stone unturned, DeSantis said. “Whoever needs a treatment, we’re going to make sure we get them a treatment.”

DeSantis said 52% of those seeking treatment with the antibodies in Broward County had been vaccinated. A patient DeSantis brought to the microphone was one of those.

“Twenty-four hours after that (treatment) it was basically gone,” said Micha Siegel of Boca Raton.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


7 comments

  • jotevof904

    September 17, 2021 at 9:27 am

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  • Andrew Finn

    September 17, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Well Emperor – it looks like the Feds have ways of “punishing” people too. how ya like it ??????

    • Alex

      September 18, 2021 at 3:04 pm

      The Feds are now saying we could run out of Regeneron soon.

      Because Republicans are idiots who follow idiots like Trump and DeAnus.

      Now it looks like MORE unnecessary deaths are on the way.

      The entire Republican party has blood on it’s hands.

  • Alex

    September 17, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    If our governor hadn’t been such a Trump weenie, he would have done the right thing and recommended everybody get vaccinated.

    So now he has to look like he’s helping with the stupid regeneron which only is for emergencies and imparts absolutely no protection long-term.

    Yes our governor is a useless pile of steaming diseased dog crap.

  • Diane

    September 17, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    You need between 2-4 monoclonal antibody treatments to treat COVID-19. They cost around $1,250/treatment. Why should the federal government foot the bill for that when vaccination combined with wearing masks indoors or when outside in large groups achieves the same results? Make states like Florida, Texas, Idaho and Wyoming pay for their own monoclonal antibody treatments if they won’t do what it necessary to curb COVID.

  • Tom

    September 18, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Typical idiocy from liberal socialists!
    The Regeneron was all bought and paid for last November.

    If the Trump administration attempted to minimize it the media would be attacking.

    Congrats to great Governor in setting this up.
    W H didn’t even know they had it to offer. Gov Ron did. He set up over 25 mono centers in less than month. Over million treated.

    America’s Governor shows great leadership once again. Making a difference in Floridians lives.

  • Alex

    September 19, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    If Biden would mandate not walking off cliffs we could clear this entire problem up.

Comments are closed.


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