Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, whose state has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic in recent months, believes that President Joe Biden should take leadership cues from him on how to best approach the crisis, he suggested on Wednesday.
Appearing on Fox News, DeSantis, who neglected to give a true portrait of how devastating things were in his state when it comes to the spread of the virus, lauded himself over his response to the pandemic and called it a “great success” while deriding how Biden was handling things nationally.
“You know, he said he was going to end COVID. He hasn’t done that,” DeSantis said.
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DeSantis criticized Biden for not pushing monoclonal antibody treatments as a means to treat the virus after infection. (The Biden administration has, in fact, done so on numerous occasions, touting the treatment in press briefings and spending millions of dollars to promote its use across the country).
“We are the first state to start the treatment centers for monoclonal antibodies. We’re having great success with that,” DeSantis claimed. “That should have been a bigger plan, a bigger part of this whole response throughout the country from the beginning.”
“At the end of the day, [Biden] is trying to find a way to distract from the failures of his presidency,” DeSantis added.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is an effective way to reduce a patient’s chances of needing hospitalization. However, experts agree that preventative measures, including vaccines for protection against the virus, are a much better strategy for combating the spread of COVID.
While the Biden administration has pushed hard on vaccines as well as promoted antibody treatments, DeSantis has been less willing to promote vaccinations, which have had resounding success at preventing hospitalizations at rates much higher than antibody treatment. Indeed, since Monday, when the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to one of the COVID vaccines, DeSantis has mentioned monoclonal antibody treatments eight times on Twitter while failing to mention the efficacy and safety of vaccines even once on his social media channel during that same time.
As DeSantis has dubiously described Biden’s leadership regarding coronavirus as a “failure,” his own state is facing much worse rates of infection compared to the rest of the nation. Florida is currently seeing 101 new cases of the virus every day, on average, per every 100,000 residents, a rate that is more than double what the U.S. is seeing (46 new cases per 100,000). The hospitalization rate in Florida is also 2.75 times higher than the current rate for the rest of the nation.
Indeed, on the very same day that DeSantis launched his attacks against Biden, Florida had more than 26,200 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed, setting a record for the highest daily number seen since the start of the pandemic early last year.