Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out a new state treatment plan to help fight COVID-19, announcing Thursday that the state will start dispensing Regeneron monoclonal antibodies through mobile clinics.
DeSantis made the announcement in Jacksonville, which has been particularly hard hit by the delta variant, but he curiously didn’t say a word about the record increase in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Regeneron is the treatment former President Donald Trump received when he came down with COVID-19 last year.
DeSantis is urging people at high risk — the elderly, the obese, people with diabetes — to get the monoclonal antibodies at the first indication of COVID-19.
Florida is making the antibody therapies more widely available by opening a rapid response unit in Jacksonville with an eye toward expanding across the state.
“I am proud to announce the opening of this rapid response unit to offer lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapies for Floridians,” DeSantis said. “We also look forward to setting up a long-term site at the Jacksonville Public Library and additional long-term sites across the state. These treatments have been proven successful, with clinical trials resulting in a 70% reduction in hospitalization and death for COVID patients.”
Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera of the University of Miami Medical School says Regeneron is effective but not a cure-all.
“The governor is saying 70% reduction in hospitalization, which is relative risk reduction,” he said. “So he’s kind of giving the more optimistic, more flowery view. But the reality is that it is much less.”
The state says to find locations for monoclonal antibody treatments, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.
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