Florida Republican lawmakers Friday demanded the Biden-Harris administration to reverse their decision to ration coronavirus antibody treatments to Floridians, saying it “could end up sentencing black people to death from coronavirus.”
The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and signed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), and Neal Dunn (R-FL), asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra “to reverse course on the department’s sudden decision to ration monoclonal antibody (mAb) drugs for the outpatient treatment of COVID-19, which will cause the State of Florida to face a severe deficit of doses.”
“At a time when Florida’s hospitalization rates are rapidly declining, in part because of the State’s successful mAb deployment infrastructure, this is a dangerous reversal of the Department’s stance,” the group wrote.
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) September 17, 2021
“This decision was made without providing the Florida Department of Health or healthcare providers anytime to prepare for this dramatic shift,” the lawmakers continued.
“Prior to this week, health care providers were able to obtain mAb therapies directly from distributors,” the lawmakers added. “With no warning, that changed, leaving Florida providers scrambling for information and a path forward for previously scheduled appointments of this life-saving therapy.”
“State Departments of Health cannot develop procedures or plan for problems they are not aware of,” the Republicans explained. “In the absence of clear, consistent communication, Florida and other states are now facing a situation where they have been denied the opportunity to develop an equitable, efficient state coordinated distribution system.”
Breitbart News reported Friday about President Joe Biden’s decision to reduce deliveries of “monoclonal antibodies to southeastern states,” a possibly political move which “could end up sentencing black people to death from coronavirus.”
When the White House was asked on Thursday about the shortage in Florida, the White House press secretary did not deny the rationing.
Florida was “expecting to get 70,000 doses this week, which they say they need. They’re only getting 30,000 doses,” a reporter prefaced the question. “And this is not just for unvaccinated people. In South Florida, half the people who are seeking this treatment are fully vaccinated.”
“So why is the Biden administration cutting these supplies?” the reporter asked.
“I think our role as the — as the government overseeing the entire country is to be equitable in how we distribute, Psaki responded, using the word “equitable” and not equal, which alludes to an unfair distribution that depends on a predetermined distributive outcome instead of satisfying each state’s needs.
“We’re not going to give a greater percentage to Florida over Oklahoma,” Psaki admitted.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø