During a press conference on Monday, Florida Gov. DeSantis slammed the Biden admin for decisions made by the federal government to withhold life-saving treatments for COVID-19 then reversing those decisions.
“We do not believe that the federal government should be holding back, any more medications. We think we have to offer this particularly for our elderly population,” said DeSantis.
“If you look at Omicron in the profile that we’re seeing, in terms of the clinical outcomes, it’s always been true with COVID that the younger folks were less risk, but I think that’s even more true with what we’re seeing with Omicron and it’s just like other respiratory viruses you know elderly, people are just going to be more people that have health problems are going to be more at risk from any type of respiratory infection,” said DeSantis.
Florida’s Republican chief executive and his top medical adviser, state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, have pushed treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, and a healthy lifestyle, that includes exercise, weight loss, Vitamin D, and other steps to reduce co-morbidities.
But the Biden administration, for apparently a second time, was undercutting this strategy by denying Florida life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments, or MABs.
The federal government, which according to President Joe Biden does not have a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, recently cut back on delivery of MABs to states. The feds claimed the drugs are almost impotent in the face of the omicron variant.
In a letter last Tuesday to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, however, Ladapo criticized the Biden administration for playing politics with people’s lives, by denying local providers the opportunity and tools to treat their own communities.
The decision by the federal government to withhold the medication was based on laboratory data, but clinical outcomes, and life-saving data forced the government to reverse that decision.
“There’s high quality data on inhaled budesonide that’s reductions in hospitalizations. There have been two clinical randomized, clinical trials. They’ve been published in very good journals that have shown a benefit of up to a 90% reduction in hospitalizations and death among people trials with really great results,” said Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
“You don’t hear about it because Merck doesn’t own it. There’s no one to share that amazing news with people, but really great results in options for clinicians,” added Ladapo.
“Particularly when there’s a crunch on monoclonal antibodies, and you’re in the middle of a surge and you have a high-risk patient,” Ladapo added. “We need to unwind this testing sort of planning and living one’s life around testing.”
Ladapo concluded with, “It’s really time for people to be living you know, to make the decisions they want regarding vaccination, to enjoy the fact that many people have natural immunity, and to unwind this. This sort of preoccupation with COVID is determining the boundaries and constraints and possibilities of life and we’re going to start that in Florida.”
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