Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday blasted the Biden administration for withholding lifesaving coronavirus treatment from those who need it, deeming it “unconscionable.”
On Tuesday, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo sent a pointed letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, questioning the Biden administration’s decision to withhold lifesaving coronavirus treatment from states such as Florida. In recent months, the DeSantis administration has blitzed the state with monoclonal antibody treatments, only to have the Biden administration slash the supply to the state, originally attributing the decision to its newfound priority of “equitable distribution.”
According to Ladapo, “the lack of allocation of this life- saving treatment from the federal government continues to cause another immediate and life- threatening shortage of treatment options to the State of Florida as the Omicron variant spreads throughout the state”:
While administration of monoclonal antibody therapy treatments in Florida is shifting back to the private health care sector, and there is growing evidence that some treatment options may not be as effective against the Omicron variant, the federal agencies under your control should not limit our state’s access to any available treatments for COVID-19. Florida can expand treatment options for patients by distributing therapeutics to providers working in areas with a low prevalence of Omicron or clinics capable of variant screening.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra listens to question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss reopening schools during Covid-19 at Capitol Hill on September 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Nash/Getty Images)
“The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.,” he said, explaining that the “sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a health care provider’s ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in their state.
“This shortsightedness is essentially evident given that the federal government efficiently prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly,” he added.
On Thursday, Sen. Paul said he is hearing doctors in Louisiana express the same concerns.
“Hearing the same thing from doctors treating COVID in Louisiana — Biden admin has cancelled monoclonal antibody shipments with no replacement antibodies available. Unconscionable,” Paul remarked:
Hearing the same thing from doctors treating COVID in Louisiana — Biden admin has cancelled monoclonal antibody shipments with no replacement antibodies available. Unconscionable.
Biden Administration Actively Preventing One Important Covid-19 Treatment https://t.co/BajxcPKtbw
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 30, 2021