White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was grilled during Thursday’s press briefing about the administration restricting the distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments to states after several predominately Republican-led states in the South increased the amount usage of the treatments in their states.
A reporter asked Psaki about why states like Florida are reportedly seeing a significant cut in the number of treatments that they are receiving.
“That’s not accurate,” Psaki claimed. “First of all, we are increasing our distribution this month by 50%. In early August, we were distributing an average of 100,000 doses per week, now we’re shipping an average of 150,000 doses per week.”
Psaki then said that the treatments are used after a person becomes infected and said that the way to save more lives was to get more people vaccinated, even though vaccinated people can still sometimes become infected with the coronavirus.
Psaki then said that the administration does not have an unlimited supply of the antibody treatments and that the administration is focused on making the distribution of the treatments “equitable.”
“We’re not going to give a greater percentage to Florida over Oklahoma,” Psaki added.
REPORTER: "Why is the Biden administration cutting" antibody treatments in Florida?@PressSec: "That is not accurate… Our supply is not unlimited and we believe it should be equitable… We're not going to give a greater percentage to Florida over Oklahoma." pic.twitter.com/K8P41ZTnRc
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 16, 2021
“Federal health officials plan to allocate specific amounts to each state under the new approach, in an effort to more evenly distribute the 150,000 doses that the government makes available each week,” Politico reported. “The approach is likely to cut into shipments to GOP-led states in the Southeast that have made the pricey antibody drug a central part of their pandemic strategy, while simultaneously spurning mask mandates and other restrictions.”
Biden demonized Republican Governors Greg Abbott (TX) and Ron DeSantis (FL) during a press conference earlier in the day, claiming that they were undermining “the life-saving requirements” that his administration is pushing, calling it “the worst kind of politics.”
A spokesperson for HHS said in a statement:
HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis. State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much. This system will help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country — providing states and territories with consistent, fairly distributed supply over the coming weeks.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to the news by saying that Biden was restricting the treatments as a form of punishment against his political rivals.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “Their blood is directly on Joe’s hands.”
“Antibody treatments aren’t a substitute for vaccines but they have prevented thousands of hospitalizations including in breakthrough cases,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) added on Twitter. “Now in a move that reeks of partisan payback against states like Florida, the Biden administration is rationing these treatments.”
“We were happy to see that Biden’s COVID plan announced last week included a 50% increase in monoclonal antibody deliveries to states this month,” DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told The Daily Wire in a statement. “So it’s surprising and deeply disappointing that the Biden Admin would break this promise just a week later and cut MAB allocation to Florida, so they aren’t even providing half of the doses of life-saving treatment that COVID patients in Florida will need. But Governor DeSantis is committed to ensuring that everyone who needs the treatment will be able to get it, even if we can’t count on the Biden Administration.”
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