Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has indicated her opposition to President Joe Biden administration’s decision to limit the amount of monoclonal treatment therapies being sent to Florida.
The Biden Administration, lead by the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), announced last week they will be taking over the distribution of the treatments and rationing the amount of treatments states like Florida can receive. The treatment will be allotted on an “equitable distribution” basis.
In response, Fried sent a letter to the White House asking the Biden administration to maintain the current levels of treatment allotments for Florida while simultaneously slamming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“While federal health officials have set Florida’s allocation of treatment doses at 30,950, I am concerned that more residents may need to avail themselves of this therapy than doses will be available, given our state’s long delay in implementing this therapy. While we certainly understand the frustration at the inequitable distribution of this treatment to just a handful of states, I would respectfully ask that time be extended before altering our current dose allotments, giving our state time to further reduce COVID-19 cases from their recent peaks.”
Fried posted the letter to Twitter also noting her support for prioritizing COVID vaccinations.
“I’m asking the White House to maintain current #monoclonalantibody allotments until #COVID19 rates decrease further in Florida,” Fried said. “Let me be clear: vaccinations remain the #1 way to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death — supported by science.”
Let me be clear: vaccinations remain the #1 way to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death — supported by science. pic.twitter.com/vRLcCaPH76
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) September 17, 2021
DeSantis has also slammed the Biden administration for its decision and said he was going to “fight like hell” to get Floridians the monoclonal treatments. DeSantis floated the idea of going around the federal government and buying the treatments directly from a producer, notably GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Fried’s letter had noted criticisms of DeSantis, but also said it is her job to ensure Floridians have access to as many life-saving treatments as possible.
“As a statewide elected official, it’s my obligation to protect the lives of every Floridian in every corner of our state – regardless of party or ideology,” Fried said. “As we do everything we can to reduce illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, ensuring the continued availability of this therapy will help us fulfill this obligation.”
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried. Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Coronavirus” by visuals3Dde.