Florida was forced to close their monoclonal antibody sites after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) swiftly revoked their authorization of the Covid-19 treatment.
The FDA reversed course after saying that it was “highly unlikely” that the antibodies treatment would be “active against the omicron variant.”
Now, only those who are “likely to have been infected with or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments” are eligible receive the treatment.
The Florida Department of Health and Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., criticized the decision, accusing Joe Biden’s FDA of blocking “treatments in the absence of clinical evidence.”
“Without a shred of clinical data to support its decision, the Biden Administration has revoked the emergency use authorization for lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments,” DeSantis tweeted on Tuesday.
“Floridians have benefited from the state’s treatment sites and their access to treatment shouldn’t be denied based on the whims of a floundering president,” he added.
The FDA’s decision comes weeks after Florida received 15,000 doses of monoclonal treatment. Over 2,000 appointments of Floridians receiving the treatment have been cancelled on Tuesday alone, according to state officials.
Democrats, including as former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, have also criticized Joe Biden of “undermining the health of the American people” with his prohibition of monoclonal antibodies.
Gabbard blasted Biden on Wednesday for prohibiting the “50,000-100,000 Americans infected” each day by the Delta Covid-19 variant from accessing monoclonal treatments
“Biden won’t allow Delta-variant COVID patients to get proven and effective monoclonal treatments, even though there are 50,000-100,000 Americans infected by Delta EVERY DAY—many of whom will be hospitalized or die without such access,” Gabbard Tweeted on Wednesday.
“Biden should stop undermining the health of the American people by interfering with our access to proven therapeutics, like monoclonals,” she added.
The monoclonal antibodies are a form of laboratory-made antibodies that give the body new defenses to fight an infectious disease, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
While not a substitute for vaccinations, the antibodies are usually reserved for those with vulnerable health conditions, such as diabetes. Transplant recipients, and the elderly are also eligible to receive antibodies.
Gov. DeSantis advocated in favor of monoclonal antibodies to help treat people with Covid-19, setting up state-sponsored antibody infusion sites while opposing vaccination mandates.
President Donald Trump also took monoclonal antibodies when he tested positive for Covid-19 in 2020.
However, the Biden administration halted use of the treatment and recommended people get vaccinated.
The Biden administration also said that “if patients in certain geographic regions are likely to be infected or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments,” then monoclonal antibodies “may be authorized in these regions.”