‘Help or get out of the way.’
Officials in several states that Biden warned earlier this year to ‘help or get out of the way‘ are demanding his administration help with the distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo accused the Biden Administration of “actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S” by pausing shipments of COVID-19 antibody treatments manufactured by two major drug companies.
The letter, obtained by CBS12 News, was addressed to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, and accuses the federal government of beginning a “sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments.”
Last week, the Biden Administration announced it would begin to reduce shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments made by the companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly, because the drugs have not been proven to be effective against the new Omicron variant.
Studies show a third monoclonal antibody treatment, Sotrovimab from the company Glaxosmithkline, does work against Omicron and is still being supplied by the federal government.
And while those two treatments may not be effective against Omicron, new analysis shows that over 40 percent of the cases are the Delta variant. Those medications have helped reduce the health effects in infected people.
Florida’s Surgeon General said the state still needs shipments of the other two treatments to be used against existing cases of the Delta Variant. Roughly 20% of the state’s cases are still Delta cases, according to the Florida Department of Health.
“Florida is a large, diverse state with one of the highest percentages of seniors in the U.S., and we must empower healthcare providers to make decisions that will save the lives of Americans everywhere without the dictates imposed by the federal government,” Ladapo wrote in the letter.
Additionally, five regional infusion centers in Texas have run out of a monoclonal antibody that has shown to be effective against the omicron variant of COVID-19. Gov. Greg Abbott has also expressed his anger at the Biden action.
Biden vows full federal support to help states combat COVID. But he’s not.
Biden is hoarding the anti-body therapeutic drugs & denying states independent access to that medical treatment.
Now, he has stopped providing any of that medicine to Texas. https://t.co/e0D36ulIpJ
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 27, 2021
And while it is disturbing that the Red States are being targeted with supply cuts, blue Vermont is also making plans around limited doses of Sotrovimab.
The federal government this week allocated Vermont roughly 300 monoclonal antibody infusions. Of these, fewer than 80 are sotrovimab, the drug that is effective against both Omicron and Delta.
Cases of Omicron are climbing, and there is no easy way to know which version of the virus each patient has. It could mean that some high-risk patients with Omicron would receive a drug that would not help them fight off the infection.
“We still probably have more Delta than Omicron. Any of the monoclonal antibodies would be good treatment for patients that walk in the door,” Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health Mark Levine said.
In the meantime, Levine said, providers should choose whichever drug is available and base their decisions on the information they have. Patients with confirmed Omicron infections should be prioritized for sotrovimab infusions, Levine said.
Here is hoping that one of the lessons learned is that pandemic response requires the development and production of treatments and vaccines.DONATE
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