Monoclonal antibodies gained nationwide popularity as a COVID treatment after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis aggressively pushed for the drug to be used in the state to help alleviate COVID symptoms in patients. In fact, the drug was even strongly supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
But despite its effectiveness, Gov. DeSantis was castigated by some for promoting monoclonal antibody treatments as opposed to mandating that people get vaccinated, the National Review reported.
Former Planned Parenthood director Dr. Leana Wen, for one, said that Republicans who were enthusiastic about the treatment were "backwards." San Diego Family Health Centers infectious disease specialist Dr. Christian Ramers echoed Wen, saying the use of such treatments as DeSantis was promoting is a "backwards strategy."
Interestingly, after months of seeing that monoclonal antibody treatment does work against COVID, the Biden administration has decided to dramatically lower the supply states can get for their constituents.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which manages supplies of treatments purchased by the federal government, said that seven states contributed to 70% of orders for monoclonal antibodies in recent weeks, CBS News reported. The seven states that ramped up their orders for the COVID treatment are Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana. In addition, orders for monoclonal antibody treatments has multiplied 20-fold since mid-July.
Of the seven states that increased its orders for the COVID treatment, Florida is the only one that has fully vaccinated more than 50% of its total population. The rest are part of the bottom 10 states for the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S. They are also some of the states with the highest rates of daily COVID hospitalizations in the last few weeks, CBS News said.
While Texas health officials say that the Biden administration warned them about how "national supply has considerably decreased," a Biden administration spokesperson denied that the limiting of supply came as a surprise to states. The limits come alongside the U.S.' new deals to boost supplies of the monoclonal antibody treatments. The government has purchased 388,000 doses from Eli Lilly and 1.4 million doses from Regeneron.
Texas Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough took to Facebook to reassure people that there are no shortages for the treatment, Not the Bee reported. Keough argued that the Biden administration is "metering how many doses of Regeneron are sent to Texas...telling Texas to reduce its use of the therapeutic treatment that has literally been saving lives and reducing hospitalizations."
Keough added, "The manufacturer has confirmed supplies are ample but due to the Defense Production Act, the White House and it's agencies are the only entities who can purchase and distribute this treatment."
This comes days after President Joe Biden expressed his disapproval over the slowed-down vaccination rate across the U.S. Keough pointed out the irony in the president's vaccine mandates, especially when there is a "non-controversial and highly successful treatment" that people can use to combat COVID.
Another Not the Bee report revealed that Gov. DeSantis has taken it upon himself to "fight like hell to overcome Biden's cruel decision to drastically reduce lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments for Floridians."
The Republican leader took to Twitter to share that his state has seen "steep reductions in hospital admissions due to early treatment efforts" and accused the president of "partisan bitterness." He also confirmed that he is working with GlaxoSmithKline for additional orders of monoclonal antibody treatments in the coming weeks, bypassing the HHS's orders.
I will fight like hell to overcome Biden’s cruel decision to drastically reduce lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments for Floridians. We've seen steep reductions in hospital admissions due to early treatment efforts. It’s wrong to penalize Florida for his partisan bitterness. pic.twitter.com/24APj0r50K
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 17, 2021