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During the White House briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticizing the Biden administration because the Food and Drug Administration removed the emergency use authorizations for two monoclonal antibody therapies to fight COVID-19. Psaki said the two therapies, by Regeneron and Eli Lilly, don’t work against the Omicron variant but that the administration is providing Florida with vaccines, boosters and treatments that do.
- The FDA yesterday withdrew the EUA for some monoclonal antibody treatments because they don't work against Omicron. But Florida continues to push for the treatment for people in the state. What's your response to Governor DeSantis, and what's your message to the people of Florida?
JEN PSAKI: Well, let's just take a step back here just to realize how crazy this is a little bit. We've approached COVID treatments like filling a medicine cabinet. We're not relying on one type, one brand or treatment. We invested in and continue to buy a variety across monoclonal antibodies, pre-exposure prevention therapies, and oral antivirals. We have provided 71,000 doses of antivirals to Florida, including 34,000 additional treatments that do work against Omicron just this last week-- I'm sorry, about a range of those treatments, I should say to be clear.
What the FDA is making clear is that these treatments, the ones that they are fighting over, that the governor is fighting over, do not work against Omicron, and they have side effects. That is what the scientists are saying. We have sent them to 71,000 doses of treatments that are effective against Omicron, and are effective also against Delta, and they are still advocating for treatments that don't work.
We've seen, unfortunately, from the beginning in our pandemic response, a range of steps or pushes that have been made through social media platforms. Unfortunately, from the mouths of elected officials, and the advocating for things that don't work, even when we know things do work-- injecting disinfectant, promoting other pseudoscience, sowing doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters. And now promoting treatments that don't work.
We know what works, vaccines and boosters. We have a range of doses of things that do work in treatments, and we're providing those to Florida.