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Tipsheet

Florida Surgeon General Accuses Biden Administration of 'Actively Preventing' One Important Covid-19 Treatment

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Florida’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo accused the Biden administration of “actively preventing” the distribution of a life-saving Covid-19 treatment.

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Ladapo detailed how Florida was ahead of the curve in using monoclonal antibodies, explaining that by mid-September, nearly 100,000 patients received this life-saving treatment.

“Shortly after Florida’s 100,000 treatment milestone, and without any advanced notice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a dramatic reduction in the number of monoclonal antibodies to be allocated to the State of Florida,” Ladapo said. “Governor DeSantis moved quickly to acquire Sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline to help alleviate the artificial shortage caused by this sudden shift from HHS. 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” amid the spread of Omicron. 

Ladapo recognized the evidence that some treatment options may not be as effective for Omicron as Delta, but still argued that federal agencies shouldn’t limit any treatment options, as providers are still caring for Covid-19 patients in areas with a low prevalence of the new variant.

“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 this state,” he said. “This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.”

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Ladapo concluded by reminding Becerra that President Biden recently acknowledged “there is no federal solution” to the pandemic, but that it “gets solved at the state level.” He requested the federal government not hinder Florida’s ability to provide treatment options.

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