Rome News-Tribune

Fla. Gov.’s prediction of monoclonal antibody shortage hasn’t come true

- By Kirby Wilson

TALLAHASSE­E, Fla. — When the federal government cut back Florida’s supply of monoclonal antibodies in September, Gov. Ron Desantis went on the offensive.

In social media posts and appearance­s at news conference­s and on television, Desantis protested what he said was a partisan and “cruel” decision by the federal government meant to penalize Florida. His office forecasted a dire shortage of the promising COVID-19 treatment: Christina Pushaw, a Desantis spokespers­on, said last month the state was looking to be shy as many as 41,000 doses per week because of the policy change.

“There’s going to be a huge disruption, and patients are going to suffer as a result of this,” Desantis said on Sept. 16 in Fort Lauderdale.

But nearly a month after the federal government cut back Florida’s supply, the state isn’t running low. Data reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that as of Sunday, state hospitals had more than 21,000 doses of monoclonal antibodies on hand. Top state officials said in interviews they’ve heard of no supply issues at the state-run monoclonal antibody sites or other health clinics.

Pushaw said Desantis’ prediction of shortages did not come true because Florida’s COVID-19 situation has improved in the last month.

“The projection was based on the level of demand for (monoclonal antibodies) at that time, which was significan­tly higher a month ago than it is today because COVID-19 prevalence in Florida has declined so dramatical­ly since then,” Pushaw said in a statement to the Times/herald.

 ?? Susan Stocker/sun Sentinel/tns ?? Gov. Ron Desantis listens to speakers talking about monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 at a news conference at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 16.
Susan Stocker/sun Sentinel/tns Gov. Ron Desantis listens to speakers talking about monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 at a news conference at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 16.

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