After the Biden Administration took over distribution of COVID-19 therapy from states, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed his displeasure amid a surge in demand among southern states.
"Just last week on September 9th, President Joe Biden said that his administration would be increasing shipments of monoclonal antibodies in September by 50%, and yet on September 13th, HHS announced that it was seizing control of the monoclonal antibody supply and that it would control distribution. Then on September 14th, the announcement was more than 50% of the monoclonal antibodies that had been used in Florida were going to be reduced," he said.
DeSantis said the "dramatic reduction" is "doubly problematic" because what Shane Strum and folks in Tampa General and these other hospital systems that have been doing this, they’re not getting it from the state.”
"What the HHS and the Biden administration is now doing is they’re saying that all of the reduced amount will go to the state, and we’re responsible not only for sourcing our sites, which we’re happy to do, but any infusion center."
He continued: "Any provider, any hospital will have to come through the state, and to just spring this on us starting next week, we’re going to have to do that. There’s going to be a huge disruption and patients are going to suffer as a result of this."
DeSantis said he received a call Wednesday from GlaxoSmithKline executives on possibly ordering their monoclonal antibody to avoid Biden’s restriction on the life-saving treatment.
On Wednesday, a DeSantis aide told Real Clear News' Philip Wegmann that Health and Human Services (HHS) has yet to explain the cut to the state.
"They had a vague statement about 'equity,' but sorry, that doesn't cut it. No explanation of how the allocation was determined. No explanation of why it's only Florida and a few other red states being restricted. No warning," the aide said.
On September 13, the timeline notes that the HHS announced they would be taking control of the distribution of the treatment.
Later that day, the Florida Department of Health expressed to HHS the need for 36,000 doses per week for just their 25 state-run sites. HHS did not indicate that a shortage was upcoming, "just that they were monitoring more closely."
On September 14, HHS reportedly sent an email informing Florida that their allocation of treatments for the week of September 13 would be "3,100 doses of BAM/ETE and 27,850 doses of REGN-COV."
"Contradicting recent and previous guidance from HHS, this was the first and only indication that Florida would receive a decreased supply and would be responsible for allocating among facilities," the timeline concludes.
DeSantis' press secretary Christina Pushaw slammed the cutting of Florida’s treatments, as well as the explanation set forth by the Biden Administration as to why they were cut.