On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) publicly called on the federal government to ease restrictions so that individual state governments can purchase monoclonal antibody treatments, which would help combat the latest surge of coronavirus cases.
The Hill reports that at his press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Governor DeSantis said that the state government is currently waiting to be able to obtain enough doses to open between five and ten more monoclonal antibody treatment sites. However, such a plan is “contingent on the federal government sending the doses we need.”
“We’re past the point now where we’re able to get it directly from any of these companies. The federal government has cornered the entire market,” DeSantis said. “We do not believe that the federal government should be holding back any more medications. We have to offer this particularly for our elderly population.”
In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ordered a pause on the distribution of certain monoclonal antibody treatments, including those manufactured by Regeneron, after some studies claimed that this method of treatment is not as effective against the new Omicron Variant from South Africa as it was against past variants.
However, DeSantis noted at his press conference that HHS had “decided to reverse course,” and allegedly planned to send an additional 30,000 to 40,000 doses. The governor pointed out that, even with the Omicron Variant on the rise, the Delta Variant from India is still very much present in the state of Florida.
“It may not be as good as it was against delta,” he continued, “but we obviously want to have that here for patients to be able to do it.”