The left-wing media and Democrats have vilified Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for promoting antibody treatments to help people recover from the coronavirus, but now infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci is agreeing with the popular doctor.
On Tuesday, Fauci claimed that antibody treatment can reduce hospitalizations by 70 percent to 80 percent.
“So, bottom line is: This is a very effective intervention for COVID-19,” Fauci said at a White House press briefing. “It is underutilized, and we recommend strongly that we utilize this to its fullest.”
The Washington Examiner reported on Fauci’s pivot to embrace what DeSantis has been saying:
Fauci is not the first person to recommend the antibodies, as DeSantis endorsed the same treatments in early August. An investigation from the Associated Press questioned the financial ties between DeSantis’s top donor and the company producing the antibodies, casting doubt on the governor’s motivations for promoting the treatments.
DeSantis sent a letter to the Associated Press after the report was published, criticizing the outlet for implying that his support for the treatment was politically driven.
“You succeeded in publishing a misleading, clickbait headline about one of your political opponents, but at the expense of deterring individuals infected with COVID from seeking life-saving treatment, which will cost lives,” the governor’s letter said. “Was it worth it?”
Products from Eli Lilly, Regeneron, and GSK/Vir were endorsed by Fauci as valid antibody treatments.
The Examiner said all three have received emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opening the way for adults and children ages 12 and up to be eligible to receive the antibodies.
On Thursday, DeSantis’s office announced another site in the state where Floridians can get monoclonal antibody treatment. The sites in the state now number 21.
The announcement of the latest treatment center said, in part:
Governor Ron DeSantis announced that new monoclonal antibody treatment sites will open tomorrow, August 27th, in Collier and Leon counties. In total, the state has opened 21 sites, serving more than 13,000 patients. These treatment sites will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., have the capacity to serve more than 300 patients per day.
Monoclonal antibody treatments can be prescribed by health care providers to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization. However, at Governor DeSantis’ direction, there is currently a standing order in Florida signed by the State Surgeon General that allows patients to receive this treatment without a prescription or referral if administered by an eligible health care provider. Such referrals are not required at any of the State of Florida monoclonal antibody treatment sites and treatments are available at no cost to patients.
The antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond effectively to the virus. According to the treatment guidelines, they should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis. By providing access to these treatments at these new sites, Governor DeSantis is alleviating demand on hospital resources and further making sure that Floridians have access to all potential treatments that can help them recover from COVID-19.
Locations can be found at floridahealthcovid19.gov.
“Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health continue to encourage Floridians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” the announcement said. “Find out where the vaccine is offered HERE.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to email@example.com.