Ron DeSantis: Joe Biden rationing Florida’s Regeneron therapy is ‘punitive’

Biden DeSantis
'It's just punitive against Florida because he's so obsessed with attacking Florida.'

President Joe Biden is playing politics with the preeminent COVID-19 treatment, says Gov. Ron DeSantis, punishing Florida by rationing the drug after he started promoting it.

Medical providers began treating more patients with monoclonal antibody cocktails in August when the delta variant led to a record-breaking spike in infection and mortality in parts of the country. But in recent weeks, the national stockpile of Regeneron’s drug has run short.

However, while hosting DeSantis on his Fox News talk show, Sean Hannity said there is no shortage of monoclonal antibodies.

“If that’s true, then you’re right, Sean. It’s just punitive against Florida because he’s so obsessed with attacking Florida,” DeSantis said, referring to Biden. “He does that rather than does his job.”

Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody therapy, REGN-COV2, has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults by 70%. After Florida introduced state-supported therapy sites amid the state’s record-breaking wave of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths this summer, hospitalizations started declining.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently halved Florida’s monoclonal antibody therapy shipments before cutting the distribution again last week. But Biden’s been “playing politics,” according to DeSantis.

“When it was apparent that it worked, that is when the Biden administration decided to take from Florida and to cut our allotment,” the Governor said.

The federal government’s handling of the COVID-19 drug has been one of several recent flashpoints between Biden and DeSantis.

The Republican Governor is frequently floated as a potential GOP front-runner for the next presidential election. However, DeSantis has consistently downplayed 2024 speculation.

Earlier this month, Biden said the federal government would increase monoclonal antibody distributions by 50%. While the nationwide monoclonal antibody distribution is expanding, states like Florida that used a large share of Regeneron — mostly states with low vaccination rates — received cuts.

The DeSantis administration purchased 3,000 doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s version of the drug, sotrovimab, last week amid the federal rationing.

“We want to get you the treatment you need, and Biden doesn’t want to give it to you,” DeSantis said. “But I’m going to come hell or high water to do whatever I can to get it for you.”

Through Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 54,071 Floridians have died with COVID-19.

Trials show sotrovimab reduces the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults by 85%, compared to the 70% for REGN-COV2. But unlike Regeneron’s version, GSK’s can’t yet be given as a shot, slowing the administration. The same goes for Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab.

Because the federal government purchased the Regeneron and Eli Lilly treatments, those have been free for states and individual health care facilities to draw down. Buying GSK’s cocktail currently is coming out of Florida’s pocketbook.

The Governor predicted that HHS is rationing monoclonal therapy in anticipation of a winter wave elsewhere in the country.

The federal government under President Donald Trump purchased 1.5 million doses of Regeneron’s treatment, then their entire stockpile. The Biden administration upped the total purchase to nearly 3 million this month and bought more of Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab.

The Governor has spent nearly two months crisscrossing the state touting monoclonal antibody treatment, particularly REGN-COV2. In recent stops, he highlighted success stories of people who received Regeneron’s cocktail before or after testing positive.

Some of the Governor’s frequent critics, like Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, ask Biden to up Florida’s treatment shipments.

In solidarity with DeSantis, the state’s U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, introduced the Treatment Restoration for Emergency Antibody Therapeutics (TREAT) Act, which would stop HHS from restricting hospitals and other facilities from ordering monoclonal antibody treatments directly from manufacturers to meet local demand, curbing federal rationing.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


25 comments

  • Tom

    September 29, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Yes it is. Awful, if 45 had done this it would be scandalous

    • Sulayman F

      September 30, 2021 at 12:04 am

      Nonsense. There’s a nationwide shortage and the government is trying to equitably share it, as the article said above. And yes 45 DID ration vaccine doses among states. This is just DeSantis trying to grandstand and try shifting blame.

      • Tom

        September 30, 2021 at 5:56 am

        You are messed up liar.
        45 did not limit treatment. There was no cap.

        POTUS 46 and his inept WH team did not know they had Renegeron to offer.
        Cruel act, just like leaving Americans behind.

        Gov Ron, the whiz kid Gov did it on his own initiative. He set up the 25 centers and pursued the treatment.
        Done!

        • tjb

          October 4, 2021 at 11:43 am

          Florida has 6.5% of the USA population, but it has 8% of the USA Covid deaths.
          DeSantis’s Florida leads the nation in the highest percentage of Covid death. Good job, Whiz kid, DeSantis.

      • Alex

        September 30, 2021 at 7:06 am

        Bingo

        • Alex’s Mom

          September 30, 2021 at 10:38 am

          Baby, I love it when we go play bingo you’re such a good son when you’re not busy trolling and being an add.

          • Alex

            September 30, 2021 at 10:58 am

            You’re a failure as a troll too.

  • Alex

    September 30, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Why didn’t Trump buy enough?

    He was never wrong according to his far right freakshow cult of personality.

    • Tom

      September 30, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      Dumb socialist Manchurian cut out boy. He bought them all. He contracted all that Renegeron offered.

      Maybe if incompetent staff and Alzie ridden POTUS had done there job and maybe if this incompetent POTUS had appointed a FDA Commsioner by now we would have more.

      Did 45 have to do everything for this inept team. Jen Psaki, Jen Psaki, Jenn Psaki.

      America’s Gov is right!

      • tjb

        October 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

        Tom, let give DeSantis some credit. Florida has 6.5% of the USA population, but it has 8% of the USA Covid deaths.
        DeSantis’s Florida leads the nation in the highest percentage of Covid death. Ron may not be a so-called socialist, but can we give recognition to Ron for having the highest death rate by percentage of the population.

  • Ron Ogden

    September 30, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Biden got his as-kicked in Af, so his next target, Florida, is one where he’s not afraid of armed insurgents.

    • Linwood Wright

      October 1, 2021 at 1:42 pm

      Bless your heart.

  • Tom

    September 30, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    The real butt kicking is coming in Nov/22.
    40 to 50 House seats. 6 Senate seats flipping.

    This POTUS is upside down in 40 plus States.
    In Florida, he’s negative 13 pts, he is only even or positive in 5 states. His approval or lack of, is high 30’s or very low 40’s. At 40%, your looking at 45 seats flipping. Enjoy!

    Good going, how inept can you be.

  • bio_guyo

    October 1, 2021 at 6:53 am

    DeSantis is both medically illiterate and a partisan political hack. He’s railing at the limited availability of an antibody cocktail that costs $1500 per dosing regimen and is available in the US for only 3 million doses in total, owing to the complexity of its manufacturing, while simultaneously undermining in every way possible the utilization of $15 per dose vaccines that are available in unlimited quantity and elicit far greater protection against hospitalization and death from COVID than the monoclonal cocktails do.
    His claim against the administration is absurd.

    • Tom

      October 1, 2021 at 8:05 am

      More demented propaganda from Manchurian nation. Not at all, foolish one. Don’t give theses inept Psakis that much credit. They didn’t even know they had it. Let alone offer it.

      America’s Governor did and utilized it unlike no other Gov or govt agency!

      No one is comparing it to the vaccine except to say it offers a different approach. All of a sudden the drunken sailors party of spending has conscience on comparable amount. Spare me, it’s called medical options you fool.

  • Carol

    October 1, 2021 at 11:05 am

    I have a friend who got vaccinated but still got seriously ill with Covid. She was given the monoclonal antibody treatment and her symptoms improved within a day. She is pregnant and lives in another state. So, in this case, President Biden saved 2 lives by not letting Florida hog the treatments to deal with all the stupid and selfish Floridians who refuse to get vaccinated. Florida does not use a cost effective strategy by depending on a costly treatment when a preventive option is inexpensive and readily available.

    • Tom

      October 1, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Carol, that’s about as asinine reply I have read. There is plenty available.
      Please with your Manchurian example, so stupid.

      • Carol

        October 1, 2021 at 4:27 pm

        Your lack of respect, sir, for a different perspective from yours speaks volumes.

  • Linwood Wright

    October 1, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Oh get a load of this guy.

    The asshat who is holding back funding for school children when their district has them wear a mask to help stop the spread of Covid is going to complain about the President being “punitive”.

    LOL!

    • Tom

      October 2, 2021 at 8:38 am

      Yes, your ass is in your hat you fool!
      Ignoramus. DeSantis pity’s fools like you, Alex, Peter H, JD, Frankie, Lorraine & other Manchurians!
      No facts just BS from hacks like u.

  • Lola Mills

    October 1, 2021 at 2:18 pm

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  • Carol

    October 1, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Plus, if as you say, there “is plenty available,” why is it even an issue for Florida that the US government is evening the distribution among states? You just admitted it is a non- problem. So, whose argument is “asinine” now?

    • Tom

      October 1, 2021 at 6:52 pm

      Yes, correct Carol. There is plenty to around. Awe feelings hurt.

      Cruel act by this POTUS.
      WH staff and Alzie Joe didn’t know bout the monoclonal Regeneron. Typical. America’s Gov did. Great leader.

      POTUS & WH staff are very jealous and uneasy about Gov Ron.

      Surrender at border.
      Surrender in Afghanistan
      Surrender on monoclonal
      His polls are awful,
      He’s upside down negative – 13 in Florida and negative in 38 states.
      What a joke,

  • Scott Henley

    October 3, 2021 at 12:01 am

    This is outright murder. At the very least this POS Communist Puppet has no business being involved in the supply line and distribution of the therapy drugs that can curb these deaths. Hospitals order every other drug, pill, vaccine and therapy needed to treat their patients directly from the manufacturer and suppliers. This should not be scooped up by this Illegitimate Communist Regime so they can punish states that do not agree with or follow their Dictatorship.
    If you doubt the intentions of these Communists who Stole the last election, think long and hard. Look at what they do every day. Every decision they make is one to try and curb or take away the power from the States, which is meant to Weaken the Power of the People who are the True Leaders in this country. The way these Communists operate you would never know we live in a Democratic Republic governed by a set of rules set forth by our Constitution and a Bill of Rights. They have eaten away at the Power and Faith as well as the Belief in God; therefore the meaning of Gods word which in turn has begun to also weaken these documents. See their goal is to remove any validity that God truly exists. Why? Because since we have certain Unalienable Rights, Rights given us by Our Creator, If they can say there is No Creator, they can say without Him these rights cannot exist. That would leave them open for the government to take them away.

  • Kiera Sinclair

    October 3, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone… Work for three to eight a day and start getting paid in the range of 7,000-14,000 dollars a month…KJH Weekly payments Learn More details Good luck…

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Comments are closed.


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