Biden Administration Cuts Back Highly Effective COVID-19 Therapy From Red States

Biden Administration Cuts Back Highly Effective COVID-19 Therapy From Red States

The Biden administration is cutting back on sending free doses of monoclonal antibodies to red, southern states where they were used as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.

In a new policy shift that began Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the distribution of monoclonal antibodies to states will now be centralized, moving away from the previous process which was based on direct orders and demand.

“HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis,” an HHS spokesman told the Washington Post. “State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much.”

HHS did not explicitly explain the reasoning for restricting delivery of the treatments but claimed its new system will “help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country, providing states and territories with consistent, fairly distributed supply over the coming weeks.”

Florida is just one of the Republican-led states affected by this change. For weeks leading up to the change, Florida was one of seven southern states — including Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana — that “have been using about 70 percent of the national supply.”

Now, its leaders are scrambling to reckon the state’s COVID-19 treatment regimes with the newest bureaucratic for no specific reason. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said that the treatment reduction came with no warning and little explanation from the federal government.

“They had a vague statement about ‘equity’ but sorry that doesn’t cut it. No explanation of how the allocation was determined. No explanation of why it’s only Florida and a few other red states being restricted. No warning,” a DeSantis aide told Real Clear News’ Philip Wegmann.

Days before the HHS announcement, Biden promised that the administration would “increase the average pace of shipment across the county of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.” The White House also pledged in the president’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan that the administration would implement this change in September.

“Monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70% for unvaccinated people at risk of developing severe disease. As hospital systems experience increased COVID-19 cases, many have identified monoclonal antibody treatment as a key tool to improve health outcomes, prevent hospitalizations and reduce the strain on overburdened hospitals,” the plan reads.

Now, it’s clear that the White House’s goal will fall short as “the national supply has considerably decreased and states should expect lower amounts of therapeutics available for shipment in the coming weeks,” as a Texas health department spokesman warned.

“This reeks of politics. This is the Biden administration punishing Florida,” Sen. Marco Rubio said in a video posted to Twitter. “They’re saying to states like Florida, ‘Oh yeah, you’re not gonna have mandates? You’re not gonna do what we want you to do? Well then guess what, we’re gonna cut off your antibody treatments and your access to them.'”

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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