Ron DeSantis administration continues damage control on infamous library picture

Toma Dean
The picture showed a COVID-19 patient face down in a library.

An infamous photo of a Jacksonville COVID patient face down on the city’s main library’s floor was discussed Wednesday as Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his rollout of monoclonal antibody sites.

During the event in The Villages, Florida Division of Emergency Management Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke offered an update on the patient in that disturbing image, Toma Dean, at the library where monoclonal antibody treatments are available.

“We’re hearing great stories from around the state, success stories. One person that has been in the news quite a lot, when we first opened our site in Jacksonville, we had a woman that was so sick, she was laying on the floor,” Scheppke said.

“I think that picture has kind of gone viral,” he added, accurately describing an image that immediately resonated with those who saw it.

Scheppke said he had the “honor and the privilege of speaking to her.”

“She really credits this medication with saving her life. She told me that the folks at the Jacksonville center were wonderful, and they treated her gently and got her the treatment, and she is convinced,” he said.

“The story’s a great story. She got sicker and sicker with COVID, she was unable to get vaccinated because of medical reasons,” Scheppke added. “Her mother, her 77-year-old mother, had watched some of the Governor’s news conferences on monoclonals and told her how she could go to the Jacksonville site to get the monoclonal therapy.”

“And she thinks that without this therapy she would have been one of those folks who went into the hospital, into the ICU, on the ventilator, perhaps died. She credits this medication with saving her life,” Scheppke said.

Dean, whose picture got national coverage, had previously gone on record with crediting the therapy with saving her life.

“I was so sick it didn’t even matter,” Dean told WJXT. “I just thought I could roll. I just wanted to get to therapy because I thought I’m either going to die — be hospitalized, die — or I’m going to make it through those doors.”

Scheppke’s good news about the topic continues attempts by the Governor’s Office to delineate that issues at the Jacksonville site were outliers, and that the real point is that the therapy is helping those sick with the novel coronavirus.


A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Suzan

    August 25, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    USA citizens can now get this job and earns more dollars by go to this web. last month i have made and received $17915 from this job by doing easy work in part time….

  • Jmjusa

    August 25, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Yup, and ag’s headline for the pic if it were a demon-rat cohort?
    “Biden helps patients by giving them a spot at public library”…
    From where zer sees it… A picture ‘creates’ a thousand words that only Gancarski can create in his lobe

  • Frankie M.

    August 25, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Why do they keep shooting themselves in the foot by bringing this photo back up. Terrible optics thanks to a hastily thrown together mash setup. If you’re explaining you’re losing. Stop doubling down on this self inflicted wound.

    • Frankie M.

      August 25, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Did I mention this mash unit is at a PUBLIC LIBRARY

  • Tom

    August 25, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    A.G. Not sure what the point is in restating this?
    Gov Ron is opening locations everywhere across the state. It’s unfortunate what took place with that attendee. N. Governor cannot heal people. He doesn’t get to bless them with holy water and watch them stand and walk. I mean the level of ridicule is unbelievable. I’m glad she Is better.

    Governor DeSantis once again is helping people as ex Gov Cuomo hurt people and he profited. 12,000 people died. Shameful. On top of the $5 million earned by a cheap book.

    Gov DeSantis is a humble servant who has a great family. Great effort getting the monoclonal centers open.

  • Ron Ogden

    August 26, 2021 at 5:38 am

    Freshman journalism class teaches folks like Gancarski to make the headline as volatile as you can, even at the expense of truth, in order to generate clicks. Works, I guess. Doesn’t really help democracy, doesn’t really ring the bell for public ethics, but it does generate clicks, fersure.

  • Evan Miller

    August 26, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Is this all we have to worry about? Do we not have larger problems? Focus on things that effect Florida residents. Like liberal hacks Charlie Crist, Nicki Fried, and Val Demmings that needs a to find her service weapon that was stolen from her unlocked city vehicle.

  • Harold Finch

    August 26, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    With ole Ronnie DeSantis just follow the money!!!

Comments are closed.


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