Governor Ron DeSantis called on the Biden Administration to restore Florida’s monoclonal antibody supply. At the event, Governor DeSantis also announced that due to the lack of support from the federal government, Florida secured 3,000 doses of the monoclonal antibody treatment on its own from GlaxoSmithKline.
“We should be doing everything we can to get patients monoclonal antibody treatments, not cutting allocations of treatment like the Biden Administration has done,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Despite the cuts by the federal government, we want any Floridians that could benefit from this treatment to have access to it. Florida is going to leave no stone unturned when finding treatment for our state, and we are encouraged to have secured a shipment of monoclonal antibody treatments from GlaxoSmithKline.”
In a nationwide address on September 9th, President Biden announced that he would “increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.” Despite this welcome statement, Florida has had our allocations of the treatment drastically cut from nearly 31,000 doses last week to less than 26,000 doses this week, despite the fact that Floridians continue to use this free lifesaving therapy to recover from COVID-19.
Joining Governor DeSantis today was Dr. Larry Antonucci, CEO at Lee Health who has seen a high demand for the treatment at his hospital.
“The monoclonal antibody program has really been a game changer here in the state of Florida,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, CEO at Lee Health. “[Monoclonal antibody treatments are] making people better… It’s key to keeping them out of the hospital… I want to thank the Governor and his whole team for doing this.”
Also joining the Governor today were Floridians who have benefited from monoclonal antibody treatments:
“[When I had COVID], I had a 101 fever, rapid heart rate and was very tired,” said Lou Castoria, a software developer from Land O’ Lakes. “I got the [monoclonal antibody] treatment and by Tuesday evening, I was feeling much better. My fever dropped. By Wednesday I had no fever anymore – and by Thursday I was able to return to work…Today, I’m back to 100% with no lingering issues.”
“[My whole household] received [monoclonal antibody treatments] and all came through just fine,” said Betsy Palmer Bigler, a former middle school math and science teacher. “That’s the reason I wrote the Governor’s office with a lot of gratitude in my heart, because I sincerely feel that it saved probably one or all three of our lives, being able to have those [treatments.]”
“I’m 64 years old and I have suffered three heart attacks,” said Jeff Randall, a guitarist from Gulf Harbors. “So having COVID-19 is not what you want to hear when you’ve suffered three heart attacks and you’ve already got a breathing problem. I always thought COVID maybe wasn’t real, but it’s real. It hurts your body… It makes a grown man want to cry. Within a day or two [after receiving the monoclonal antibody treatment], I felt great, everything was fine. The day after I got the treatment, my 93-year-old mother said, ‘I have chills. I’m cold. I have a headache, a slight fever.’ We didn’t waste any time. My wife took my mother to [the monoclonal site], she got the Regeneron, and the next day — it’s a miracle — she is completely healed. She’s walking around with her little walker and getting along just fine.”