Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accused the Biden administration of playing politics by restricting the amount of monoclonal antibody COVID treatments sent to his state.
Fox News host Mark Levin observed on a clip of his program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” posted on Friday evening, how odd it is that something like monoclonal antibodies would be politicized the way it has by the Biden administration.
The conservative talk show host noted that he personally benefited from one of the centers the DeSantis administration had set up in the state to provide the treatment.
Levin recounted that he been vaccinated and boosted, yet still got COVID, but the monoclonal treatment, he believes, helped him recover quickly.
“After the first day, where I felt lousy, I felt fine. I mean it actually works,” he said.
“And yet you’re the focus of Washington, the bureaucrats and the Democrat politicians who are saying, ‘That works. Let’s withhold the monoclonal antibodies.’ What do you make of that?” Levin asked.
“It’s all political,” DeSantis responded. “We set up these centers this summer when we started to see delta variant rear its head.”
“And it worked. We were keeping tens of thousands of people out of the hospital. Saved thousands of lives. No one disputes that,” he added.
However, in September the federal government took over distribution of the treatments and reduced supplies to states like Florida and Texas.
The Biden administration said the move was to stave off shortages nationwide, according to The Washington Post.
“What the [Department of Health and Human Services] will say is, ‘Florida, you used too much of it,’” DeSantis said. “Part of the reason we’ve used more than other states is because we’ve embraced treatment.”
“We’ve really embraced treatment because that’s just the reality of what we’re facing,” he added. “You were vaccinated, yet you still got it. I wish the vaccines were sterilizing, but they’re not providing that type of an immunity.”
“So to just not deal with treatment and be hostile to people like me who are, it shows so much of this is about a political agenda, it’s about partisanship and it’s not about the best interests of the American people when you talk about how these folks are acting,” DeSantis said.
The governor told Levin his administration was able to fill some of the hole created by HHS cutting his supply by contracting directly with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline for its monoclonal drug sotrovimab, which preliminary studies indicate is effective against the omicron variant.
At the end of last month, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra highlighting that his state is not receiving an adequate supply of monoclonal antibodies under current federal policy.
He further pointed out that the Sunshine State has one of the highest percentages of seniors in the country, who are the most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID infections.
“The sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a health care provider’s ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in this state,” Ladapo wrote.
“This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.”