Sen. Rick Scott says President Joe Biden is being a “hypocrite” over the federal government’s role in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, including with the unequal distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments.
“First, he says [there’s] no federal solution, but then he wants these mandates, and then they pick and choose where they want to send these treatments,” the Florida Republican said in an interview Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
His comments come after Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general, sent a letter this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra accusing the Biden administration of “actively preventing” the antibody treatments from being distributed, reports the New York Post.
Ladapo said HHS reduced the antibodies to Florida earlier this year “without any advanced notice” and created an “immediate and life-threatening shortage of treatment options.”
“With the monoclonal antibodies or whether it’s the tests they’re going to distribute, all the states ought to be treated the same,” Scott said on Fox News Wednesday night. “Florida shouldn’t be treated worse or better than anyplace else. We should be treated exactly the same.”
Ladapo said in his letter, which he posted on Twitter, that the suspension of the monoclonal antibody treatments to Florida “removes a health care provider’s ability to decide the best treatment options for their patients in this state. This shortsightedness is especially evident given that the federal government effectively prohibited states from purchasing these monoclonal antibodies and serving their populations directly.”
“I don’t get Biden and I don’t get the Democrats,” Scott told Fox News. “They want to tell you how to lead your life but they don’t want to be helpful to you. Get out of the way and let Florida and Texas figure out their own solutions and don’t stop it.”
But instead, Biden may be saying there is no federal solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, but his administration wants to “control all the treatment and decide where all the treatments go,” said Scott. “They buy this stuff up, they buy the vaccines up, control everything and then decide I am going to give you something if you do the right things. If you do the wrong things, I will hold it back.”
People in Florida want to be sure they don’t get sick and they need good information, “but if they do get sick, we are to have all the treatments,” said Scott.
Ladapo said the reduction took effect after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, ordered more of the treatments to combat the delta variant in August.
Nearly 100,000 people in Florida got the treatment before the administration ordered a “drastic reduction” in the supplies to the state and other locations.
Meanwhile, HHS last week paused the distribution of the treatments made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly on claims they were not as effective against the omicron variant. On Wednesday, the order was revised so that it would apply only to states where omicron makes up at least 80% of COVID cases.
The government is still distributing GlaxoSmithKline’s Sotrovimab monoclonal antibody, which is believed to be more effective against omicron, but Ladapo said none of that treatment was allocated to Florida and the state’s administration had to buy its own supplies.
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