The Food and Drug Administration forced the shutdown of Florida’s monoclonal antibody treatment sites for COVID-19 after abruptly removing the treatments from the Emergency Use Authorizations.
According to the FDA, Regeneron and Eli Lilly should not be used anymore because the treatments are not as effective against the Omicron variant of the virus, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement released Monday, the Florida Department of Health slammed the move, saying that the state of Florida “disagrees with the decision that blocks access to any available treatments in the absence of clinical evidence.”
As a result of the @US_FDA's abrupt decision to remove the EUAs for two monoclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibody treatment sites will be closed until further notice. Full press release is below. pic.twitter.com/RGeWTPwxCs
— Florida Dept. of Health (@HealthyFla) January 25, 2022
Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis also got involved, directly slamming President Joe Biden for the decision.
“Floridians have benefited from the state’s treatment sites and their access to treatment shouldn’t be denied based on the whims of a floundering president,” he tweeted.
Floridians have benefited from the state’s treatment sites and their access to treatment shouldn’t be denied based on the whims of a floundering president. https://t.co/Y5nmAV1LCs
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 25, 2022
The tweet linked to a longer statement in which DeSantis didn’t hold back.
“Without a shred of clinical data to support this action, Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law,” he said “This indefensible edict takes treatment out of the hands of medical professionals and will cost some Americans their lives. There are real-world implications to Biden’s medical authoritarianism – Americans’ access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president.”
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo concurred.
“In our field of medicine, when someone comes to you seeking a treatment that could save their life, it is essential to have treatment options to ensure health care providers can make the best decisions for their patients,” he noted. “The Federal Government has failed to adequately provide the United States with adequate outpatient treatment options for COVID-19. Now, they are scrambling to cover up a failure to deliver on a promise to ‘shut down the virus.’”
Even Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez chimed in to make her disapproval heard.
“Rather than giving Americans the option for various COVID treatments, the FDA and the Biden Administration issued their royal decree, taking away the very thing that is proven to reduce hospitalizations and save lives,” she remarked. “Monoclonal antibody treatments like Regeneron have had a positive impact for thousands of Floridians. For the CDC and FDA, which have been consistently inconsistent throughout the entire pandemic, to restrict treatment does nothing but put individuals at risk.”
The FDA could reauthorize their use if they are discovered to be effective against future variants, should there be any.
DeSantis has promoted the use of monoclonal antibodies for some time, even fighting against the Biden administration for allegedly withholding the treatment from the state of Florida when the Department of Health and Human Services dramatically cut the number of doses sent to the state.
“To just spring this on us, starting next week we’re gonna have to do that,” DeSantis said. “There’s going to be a huge disruption, and patients are going to suffer as a result of this. And so we’re going to work like hell to make sure that we can overcome the obstacles that HHS and the Biden administration are putting in.”
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