Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida secured 15,000 doses of Regeneron that he says will be immediately utilized to support new monoclonal antibody sites.
Following a week that saw the state’s top elected official call on the Biden administration to send 30,000 doses of monoclonal antibody treatments to the Sunshine State, DeSantis announced on Friday that the state of Florida had received half of the additional treatments requested. The Governor’s Office also noted that planning had begun to send 30,000 more monoclonal antibody doses to Florida.
In a press release, DeSantis touted the importance of lifesaving therapeutics while lambasting President Joe Biden and his administration for its continued stranglehold on the supply of monoclonals
“But for the federal government’s decision to restrict supply of monoclonal antibody treatments to Florida, my administration would have already opened additional monoclonal antibody treatment sites throughout the state,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Before the Biden Administration seized control of the monoclonal supply after Florida pioneered its widespread use and demonstrated its efficacy, approximately 30,000 doses per week were being administered to Floridians, saving countless lives. We will rapidly deploy the 15,000 doses that we have now secured, but the Biden Administration is still obstructing the state of Florida’s ability to manage our own supply of monoclonal antibodies and I will continue to seek additional doses for Floridians.”
The supply and distribution of monoclonal antibodies following Florida’s deployment of the treatment last summer has been a point of contention after the federal government drastically cut shipments of the treatments to the state. The U.S. government says they paused the distribution of COVID-19 antibody treatments from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly Company, citing their lack of potency against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
The move has been slammed by critics, including Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who accused the Biden Administration of “actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.”
Speaking at the Broward Health Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this week, DeSantis continued to lambast the government’s decision to halt Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal treatments.
“We were concerned about what was happening with the taking back of monoclonal antibody supplies. The government stopped sending both Regeneron and the Eli Lilly monoclonal, and that was based on some preliminary study saying that it may not be as effective against Omicron,” DeSantis said on Monday. “But of course, Omicron isn’t the only variant out there, and it’s something that we actually have seen applied to Omicron patients and seeing that their symptoms were resolved. It’s not clear that this is something that won’t be a benefit. It may not be as effective as it was against Delta, but we want it to be something available to patients.”
The study cited by DeSantis comes from Regeneron and AstraZeneca who announced contrasting data last month regarding the effectiveness of their COVID-19 therapies against the new strain. Regeneron, in particular, warned that its antibody treatment may not be as effective against Omicron, but maintained that it is effective against Delta.
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) January 7, 2022