While promoting monoclonal treatment in Tampa, Ron DeSantis fights treatment ‘resistance’
Ron DeSantis in Orlando. Image via Scott Powers.

Ron DeSantis in Orlando
DeSantis has been criticized for not promoting vaccines with the same vigor lately as he does Regeneron's drug.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is traveling the state to promote success stories in people who received Regeneron’s COVID-19 treatment amid “resistance” from medical experts to talk about the treatment.

Florida has opened at least 21 sites offering monoclonal antibodies, a therapy available to people at risk for severe infections when they test positive. However, that antibody cocktail was hardly known to the public, at least until this month, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the use of the drug.

Promoting the antibody cocktail at the Hillsborough County Department of Health on Monday, DeSantis had Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez share the positive experience her mother and aunt, both octogenarians, had with monoclonal antibodies after they tested positive. DeSantis also invited the daughter and granddaughter of Louis Baron, a 98-year-old World War II veteran who tested positive and received the treatment earlier this month while recovering from a partial hip replacement.

Baron’s family credited the DeSantis administration for expediting his treatment when they called and wrote the Governor’s Office detailing their struggles trying to get it for him in Sarasota.

“If you are a facility or a hospital that has these Regeneron shots, do not hesitate. Please administer them the second your patient tests positive for COVID,” said Baron’s granddaughter, Alexandra Levine.

DeSantis predicted COVID-19 will be an endemic virus, meaning it will be an infection that never fully goes away, like the common cold or the flu. Monoclonal antibodies could become central to treating the disease, he continued.

“I think one of the frustrating things was just seeing people who had been admitted this summer and very few of them got this, but very few of them even knew about it,” DeSantis said. “So this is something that needs to be part of what we do going forward.”

Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death among people at risk for severe cases by 70%. The drug also holds up against the delta variant, unlike Eli Lilly’s version.

“I can tell you that the data on this is very good. Even Dr. (Anthony) Fauci acknowledged that this is something that’s very effective,” DeSantis said, referring to the White House adviser he has frequently criticized.

However, the medical community has not been completely honest about COVID-19 and its treatment, DeSantis alleged.

A reporter asked the Governor, who has been criticized for not promoting vaccines with the same vigor lately, whether doctors have resisted talking about the treatment. There’s been “resistance” to talking about treatment at all, he replied.

“I think there’s always been a part of this where they would tell the public what they thought would lead to the behavior that they wanted to see,” DeSantis said. “So I think that there was some concern that if you told people there’s treatment that could be effective that may cause them not to seek vaccination.”

“Of course, that’s not the message,” he continued. “This is not in lieu of. This is in addition to.”

Health experts, including the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kenneth Scheppke, say vaccines are still the most effective way to prevent a COVID-19 infection. If people test positive, whether they’re vaccinated or not, DeSantis and Scheppke say monoclonal antibodies are the fast-acting treatment people need.

DeSantis has been crisscrossing the state this month to promote Regeneron’s antibody cocktail. He was at the Duval County Health Department Monday morning to promote it and will be at the Bay County Health Department later Monday afternoon.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at r[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Peterh

    August 30, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    While Regeneron’s protocol is 70% effective IF ADMINISTERED EARLY AFTER INFECTION…..it should not replace vaccination.

    The longer Covid persists in our communities….. the greater the chance of more deadly variants.

    The Governor is correct in his statement that Covid will be with us for a long time. Regeneron IS NOT A CURE….. the cocktail prevents serious illness 70% of the time.

  • Alex

    August 30, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Note he’s not fighting vaccine resistance, he’s pretending to fight resistance against the least effective treatment that only can work within a very narrow window of time right after you become infected.

    He’s not being truthful, because telling the truth gets you attacked in far right la la land.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 30, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Wtf!!! The damn drug dealer Duffus Desantis is hustling for big pharma! PREVENTION! Is the game stupid Desantis ! You don’t get a kickback from vaccines ? You are willingly slaughtering Floridians and our children for your own political bs Duffus Desantis . Lock up this pervert for lying to Floridians and our children! Fing Prevention!

    • PeterH

      August 30, 2021 at 5:58 pm

      Two thumbs up Sonja. Keep up the good work!

  • LaVonne Joyce

    August 30, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Monoclonal antibody treatment is an IV. It requires a sterile setting, certified staff and monitoring. It should require a RX from a medical doctor – preferably human. Morally, it’s use should be determined under established medical best practices. If the Governor did his job, he’d insure the monoclonal antibody treatments were available to physicians to treat those most in need.
    Do the job you were elected to, Governor.

  • Elizabeth Falkenhagen

    August 31, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    You have to wonder what is motivating DeSantis to promote this treatment so vociferously. I suspect Regeneron is contributing or promising to contribute to DeSantis presidential campaign. Meanwhile, Forida citizens with chronic respiratory problems are unable to get the 3rd vaccine even when prescribed by their pulmonologist. This is not the case in other states so clearly DeSantis is not about prevention or cares about the health of Floridians.

Comments are closed.


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