Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo directed a pointed letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday, blasting the Biden administration for limiting lifesaving coronavirus treatment to the state.
The letter, dated December 28, first addresses the critics, who have mischaracterized the situation in Florida, as some have even accused the DeSantis administration of worsening the pandemic by championing personal liberty over coercive mandates.
“Without the heavy hand of government mandates, Florida is above the national average in the percent of people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine,” Ladapo wrote, detailing DeSantis’s August response to the rise of the delta variant by announcing a “rapid increase in the availability of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments across the state.” Ultimately, health officials administered that lifesaving treatment to nearly 100,000 individuals by mid-September.
According to Ladapo, the monoclonal antibody sites served 5,000 patients a day at the peak. But shortly after, as word got out about the lifesaving treatment, the Biden administration’s HHS announced its decision to slash the supply to the state, without warning. At the time, HHS attributed the sudden decision to its newfound priority of “equitable distribution.”
“HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis,” a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said. As a result, in mid-September, the Biden administration gave Florida less than half of what was needed for a routine week of treatments. At the time, many suspected Biden’s move stood as a form of revenge against governors such as DeSantis, as the president vowed during his divisive coronavirus speech in September to get certain governors who opposed his agenda “out of the way.”
“If they will not help, if those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” Biden declared.
As a result, DeSantis “moved quickly to acquire Sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline to help alleviate the artificial shortage caused by this sudden shift from HHS,” Ladapo continued, noting that the issue still exists.
Per the letter:
However, the lack of allocation of this life- saving treatment from the federal government continues to cause another immediate and life- threatening shortage of treatment options to the State of Florida as the Omicron variant spreads throughout the state.
While administration of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments in Florida is shifting back to the private health care sector, and there is growing evidence that some treatment options may not be as effective against the Omicron variant, the federal agencies under your control should not limit our state’s access to any available treatments for COVID-19. Florida can expand treatment options for patients by distributing therapeutics to providers working in areas with a low prevalence of Omicron or clinics capable of variant screening.
The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S. 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 their sate. This shortsightedness is essentially evident given that the federal government efficiently prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.
Ladapo pointed squarely to Biden, who admitted this week the there is “no federal solution” to the Chinese coronavirus.
China’s state-run Global Times propaganda newspaper mocked Biden for abandoning his campaign promise to end the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and instead declaring that “no federal solution” to the problem exists. https://t.co/kgNnDbSKSa
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 28, 2021
“Therefore, as Surgeon General, I respectfully request that you allow states and healthcare practitioners to provide treatment options that best benefit the communities they know and serve,” Ladapo concluded.
Indeed, prior to departing for his beach vacation this week, Biden said the coronavirus “gets solved at the state level.”
Nonetheless, his administration continues to stand in the way of lifesaving treatments, all while placing a greater emphasis on vaccines over therapeutics — something Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) believes has cost “thousands” of lives.