Gov. Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried found common ground Friday in an emerging medical treatment for COVID-19: monoclonal antibodies.
Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, recognized monoclonal antibodies Friday as a medical approach to prevent death and reduce COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
If a doctor encourages it, she said, get it.
“Hopefully, this will save lives,” Fried told reporters.
Fried’s endorsement comes as DeSantis travels the state hailing the treatment. Over the last week, the Republican Governor has made stops in several cities, including Fort Walton Beach, to promote its use.
The key, DeSantis maintains, is early administration of the drug.
“Early treatment saves lives,” reads a sign displayed across the Governor’s podium at each press event.
The free treatment involves injecting laboratory-created antibodies into an infected person’s system.
In January, the Donald Trump administration purchased Regeneron’s entire supply of monoclonal antibodies, making it free to those who need it. In October, Trump later received the treatment when he contracted COVID-19, promoting it as a “miracle” and a “cure.”
While promising, Fried and medical professionals note that monoclonal antibodies are not a substitute for a COVID-19 vaccination.
“I would encourage people to get the vaccine,” Fried said. “And if you do get sick, then obviously this is another alternative treatment.”
In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the injectable antibody cocktail as an early COVID-19 treatment for people at high risk for severe infections, such as those who are immunocompromised.
DeSantis on Friday said the stockpile of Regeneron has been “relatively underutilized” despite its medical and cost upside.
“Right now, we can order 10,000 doses every crack we want, and they get here within 24 hours,” DeSantis said.
Fried helped open a Regeneron treatment center Thursday in Tampa.
“The massive spikes in COVID-19 cases driving our hospital system to the brink is largely by unvaccinated individuals,” Fried said at the announcement.
Fried is among critics who allege the Governor has not done enough to promote COVID-19 vaccinations, making this a rare point of agreement between the two.