Dade mayor condemns handling of antibody treatment cancelations

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (WPLG)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava condemned the way Florida’s contractor for monoclonal antibody treatments was handling the appointment cancelations for the treatment.

Florida closed the sites on Tuesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stopped the use of the antibody drugs by Regeneron and Eli Lilly, after data showed these are not effective against omicron.

There was a sign at the former site in Tamiami Park. It read, “NOTICE. THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS REMOVED THE ABILITY FOR ANY STATE TO ADMINISTER REGEN-COV OR BAM-ETE MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENTS.”

Outraged by the messages, Levine Cava sent a letter to Carlos Duart, the president of the contractor CDR Maguire, a logistics service based in Kendall.

“We were also made aware that your team has communicated directly with residents in Miami-Dade County without sharing complete information about the reason their upcoming appointments were canceled. The messages our residents received from your team are deeply concerning since they seem motivated by political interests and not acting in our community’s best interests,” Levine Cava wrote.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of his administration criticized the decision harshly. President Joe Biden’s administration provided options of treatments that are effective against omicron, the dominant variant.

“It is our duty to offer our residents the most effective treatment for the variant that is affecting the majority of our community at the moment, and we are doing them a disservice by continuing to provide a treatment that might not be effective for the COVID strain they likely have or not informing them about better alternatives that could become available soon.”

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, just this week the agency is providing Florida with 34,000 doses of treatments that do work against omicron.

Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director, released a statement on Monday reporting there are several other therapies – Paxlovid, sotrovimab, Veklury (remdesivir), and molnupiravir – that are expected to work against the omicron variant.

These, she said, “are authorized or approved to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progression to severe disease, including hospitalization or death.”

Mayor’s letter to CDR Maguire

Miami-Dade County Mayor (MD Mayor)

12 p.m. report

After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday night that certain monoclonal antibody treatment brands no longer had emergency use authorization, Florida officials decided to close the sites where it was being administered to COVID-19 patients.

6 p.m. report

While Florida closes the sites that were distributing antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly, the federal government was transitioning to promoting treatments that are more effective against omicron, authorities said.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.