Florida Gov. DeSantis blasts FDA for halting drugs ineffective on Omicron

The feds say the treatments don't work. DeSantis disagrees.

Photo via DeSantis/Twitter
Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined his latest plan to “fight back” against the decision by the Joe Biden administration to cut off access to monoclonal antibody treatments, but was short on specifics about how that battle would take place.

“We’re going to fight back against this because this is just wrong. It’s not the way, you know, that you help people,” DeSantis said Tuesday.

Asked about the strategy for combating the federal pause, DeSantis replied, “We’ll see.” Part of the strategy will be to “expose what this actually means for people,” DeSantis said, though it’s uncertain what that entails beyond battling in the press.

DeSantis has communicated outrage since Monday night about the decision by the federal government to halt use of monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. The Biden administration cites experts contending the treatments don’t work against the omicron variant that has prevailed in recent weeks.

“Early this morning, thousands of Floridians woke up to news that their appointments to get treatment for COVID-19 infection were canceled by the Biden administration,” DeSantis said Tuesday, complaining the White House “revoked” those treatments.

The Governor rejected the premise that the treatments don’t work against omicron, saying Florida proved differently and that patients had the right to “try” the treatment despite changing federal guidance.

“We have had people use it, and we have had good results. It’s not 100%, we understand that. But you also don’t know when someone goes in whether it’s omicron or delta. Yes, mostly in Florida it’s going to be omicron at this point,” DeSantis conceded. “But it’s really a reckless decision.”

“Even if with omicron it’s half as effective, or even 25% as effective, that’s better than nothing for people,” the Governor added.

DeSantis suggested the monoclonal moratorium was driven by a failure to “stockpile” the treatment by the federal government.

“I think part of it is they don’t have enough treatments to go around,” DeSantis said.

The Governor made the comments Tuesday morning during a press conference in Crawfordville.

Alternative treatments will be offered, per the Biden Administration. HHS spokesman Ian Sams tweeted that the department this week is providing more than 34,000 treatments to Florida that “actually do work,” adding emphasis to those words. Those treatments include 21,080 doses of the molnupiravir pill produced by Merck.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered her own critiques of the DeSantis position Tuesday, calling it “crazy.”

“These treatments, the ones the Governor is fighting over, do not work against omicron and have side effects. That is what the scientists are saying,” Psaki said Tuesday at her regular briefing.


Renzo Downey of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

This article first appeared at Florida Politics. 
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