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'Will Cost Some Americans Their Lives': DeSantis Calls Out Biden Admin for Stopping COVID Antibody Treatments

01-25-2022
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling out the Biden administration on its decision to revoke emergency use authorization (EUA) for Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments on Monday. 

As a result of the move, all monoclonal antibody sites across Florida have been shut down. 

"Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law," DeSantis said in a press release. "This indefensible edict takes treatment out of the hands of medical professionals and will cost some Americans their lives. There are real-world implications to Biden's medical authoritarianism – Americans' access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president."

The Wall Street Journal reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted the use of two monoclonal antibody drugs for COVID-19 because the FDA thinks they are unlikely to be effective against the Omicron variant.

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After the FDA's announcement, the Health and Human Services Department said it wasn't going to include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Regen-Cov and Eli Lilly & Co.'s bamlanivimab and etesevimab in its latest COVID drug shipments to states. 

"The administration is focused on making sure that if an American gets sick with COVID-19, they get a treatment that actually works," an HHS spokeswoman told The Journal.

The agency said as of Jan. 15, it believes the Omicron variant accounts for more than 99% of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

"It's highly unlikely that COVID-19 patients seeking care in the U.S. at this time are infected with a variant other than Omicron," the FDA said, "and these treatments are not authorized to be used at this time."

However, the agency noted it could authorize the treatments for future use if other variants become more common in certain regions.

As CBN News has reported, the antibody drug Regeneron was instrumental in helping President Trump recover after he became infected with COVID-19 in 2020. The FDA granted EUA for it in November of 2020. The synthetic antibody begins fighting the virus soon after entering the body.

"Regeneron is what we need to use to fight the battle and it is a winning tool," Dr. Chauncey Crandall, a West Palm Beach, Florida cardiologist told CBN News last August. 

Both of the drugs were the first to be authorized by the FDA to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms in people who were considered high risk for developing severe cases, according to The Journal

DeSantis responded to the news of the drugs' effectiveness by setting up Regeneron infusion sites across Florida last fall. 

"You go there, you get an IV. They will infuse this for an hour. You're under observation for an hour and if you do well you go home," Dr. Crandall told CBN News

Due to the FDA's action, the appointments for more than 2,000 Floridians to receive the treatment were canceled on Jan. 25 alone, according to DeSantis' office. 

The Sunshine State's Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, said the administration is now in a cover-up mode after failing on their promise to "shut down the virus."

"In our field of medicine, when someone comes to you seeking a treatment that could save their life, it is essential to have treatment options to ensure health care providers can make the best decisions for their patients," Ladapo said. "The federal government has failed to adequately provide the United States with adequate outpatient treatment options for COVID-19. Now, they are scrambling to cover up a failure to deliver on a promise to 'shut down the virus.'"

Matt Kibbe, president of Free the People, responded to the FDA's announcement, writing in a Twitter post: "The Biden Administration's decision to nationalize the supply and distribution of monoclonal antibodies is a potential death sentence for patients who desperately need them. This is how government medicine works in a nutshell: They decide if you live or die."

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