2 Polk Co. commissioners agree to send letter pushing for ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine access

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Polk County commissioners will request more access to alternative COVID-19 therapeutics in a letter being sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Commissioner Bill Braswell is the only commissioner that agreed to sign Commissioner Neil Combee’s revised “right to try” letter.

The commission met Friday morning for its agenda review session.

Those two commissioners say patients should be able to easily get prescriptions for drugs, including parasite medication ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Leading health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have said there is no proof yet that these drugs work against COVID-19.

Dr. Joy Jackson, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County, and Dr. Daniel Haight, from Lakeland Regional Health, told the commission earlier this month that they do not recommend these drugs to treat COVID-19.

“This is a legacy issue for the biomedical community. It’s a legacy issue for elected officials, whether we like it or not. In time, we will be judged either right or wrong depending on which issue we’re on,” said Combee at Friday’s work session.

Commissioners George Lindsey, Martha Santiago, and Rick Wilson did not agree to sign the letter.

Santiago and Wilson said they may send their own letter to the governor.

Santiago said she wanted to thank the governor for making monoclonal antibody treatments readily available.

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