President Joe Biden continues facing criticism for restricting shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments for the coronavirus to Southern states.
The treatment for the Chinese coronavirus is in high demand in Southern states where some residents are still not vaccinated, as well as for those who are vaccinated but still contracted the virus.
But the Department of Health and Human services has restricted shipments of the treatment to Florida and other southern states.
In Florida, HHS provided less than 31,000 doses this week — half of the 70,000 doses requested by the state.
That prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to publicly condemn the Biden administration.
“We are very, very concerned with the Biden administration and the HHS’s recent, abrupt, sudden announcement that they are going to dramatically cut the number of monoclonal antibodies that are going to be sent to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said Thursday.
DeSantis warned that even more doses were needed in his state as they faced a likely surge in coronavirus cases in the fall and winter months.
“There’s going to be a huge disruption and patients are going to suffer as a result of this,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also condemned the Biden administration’s decision in a video posted on social media.
“Now they have decided they’re going to ration the antibody treatments,” Rubio said, adding that the Biden administration was “punishing Florida” for resisting vaccine mandates.
“These people are bordering now on tyranny and its outrageous. It has to stop,” he said.
Every day it’s something new with these people in the White House
The decision to ration antibody treatments proves they focused on public health
What they want is power and control pic.twitter.com/UYcFxwJx2D
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 16, 2021
Other figures joined in the condemnation of the Biden administration, including Donald Trump Jr.
Americans will die because of Biden’s despicable decision to punish his political enemies in red states by restricting their ability to secure life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments for all that need them.
Their blood is directly on Joe’s hands.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2021
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the actions of the HHS during the daily press briefing on Thursday, noting that just seven states were using 70 percent of the orders obtained by the federal government.
She indicated that governors were failing to protect their residents by not pressuring them further to get vaccinated for the coronavirus.
“Clearly the way to protect people and save more lives is to get them vaccinated, so that they don’t get the COVID to begin with,” she said.
The decision by the HHS to cut shipments is puzzling, as just last week Biden announced he would increase shipments of the antibody treatments by 50 percent to escalate the fight against the virus.
Biden, September 9, 2021:
“Tonight, I’m announcing we will increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.”
Less than a week later he CUT allocations to southern states by 50%. pic.twitter.com/TCTY7XdboC
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) September 16, 2021
Psaki said that Biden had increased the shipments of the doses from 100,000 doses per week to 150,000 doses per week, but she defended the decision to restrict shipments to some states.
“I think our role as the government overseeing the entire country is to be equitable in how we distribute,” she said.
Psaki claimed the government supply of the antibody treatment doses was “not unlimited,” even though companies manufacturing the treatment have indicated their willingness to produce more.