Lawmakers react to closure of monoclonal antibody treatment sites

Two Florida state representatives who both just had COVID-19 within the last week are reacting to a recent decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke emergency use for two monoclonal antibody treatments.

Republican State Representative Scott Plakon said he got the monoclonal antibody treatment.

"I got the Regeneron," he said. "Within a few days, I was fine and here I am able to do this interview."

Democratic State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith said he also had COVID-19 last week but did not get the treatment.

"Being someone who is not high-risk for COVID-19, I did not see the need for monoclonal antibody treatments," Rep. Smith said.

Not surprisingly, the two also have differing views on the FDA’s decision to revoke two of the treatments.

"We can’t waste this supply of monoclonal treatment that doesn’t work against omicron because we might need it at a future date," Rep. Smith said.

"This is just the latest in outrageousness, but in this case, it’s going to directly hurt people and maybe kill people," Rep. Plakon said.

The FDA said the antibody treatments from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company don’t work against the omicron variant of the coronavirus. All state-run sites have been shut down, leaving thousands with canceled appointments.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing back, saying the FDA’s decision is unfounded.

"The federal government, if they’re trying to manipulate us into getting vaccinated by withdrawing a treatment, that’s evil and that’s wrong," Rep. Plakon said.

"It doesn’t make any sense for Gov. DeSantis to be obsessing over monoclonal treatments that don’t work," Rep. Smith said.

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