Gov. DeSantis touts vaccine developments, therapeutic treatments in video message as COVID-19 cases rise

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued another video message via Twitter regarding potential coronavirus vaccines – his second video in less than a week – as Florida creeps closer to reaching one million total virus cases.

In the video message released Tuesday afternoon, DeSantis says “he has been meeting with federal officials involved in Operation Warp Speed” and has “been able to get key questions answered for Florida.”

DeSantis did not say what key questions were asked nor what the answers to those questions were.

The governor did not say how many vaccines would be available for Floridians but did say the state is “ready to begin distributing vaccines” pending FDA approval. His message also referenced therapeutic treatments that “we have been working to procure” for Florida hospitals.

Tampa General Hospital was the first hospital in Florida to provide monoclonal antibody treatment to a COVID-19 positive patient last week. Lakeland Regional Health is also administering the drug manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co. to high-risk patients.

DeSantis has drawn criticism in past weeks for not holding media availabilities as cases continue to rise throughout the state. Florida surpassed 950,000 total cases on Tuesday, according to the health department’s daily report.

Gov. DeSantis released a YouTube video about the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine and made an appearance to watch new senators get sworn in last week but has not held a press briefing since Nov. 4 – the day after the election. DeSantis didn’t take questions during that news conference but promised he would soon.

When Florida reopened in September, part of the order barred local governments from adopting and enforcing restrictions they saw fit. A group of Florida mayors, including St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, are now lobbying the governor to rescind that, or in the very least, adopt a statewide mask mandate.

The Florida League of Cities also weighed in, telling us in a statement: “We believe the governor should allow cities to take the actions they believe are necessary to protect their citizens. When our state and local governments work together, we are better equipped to manage this public health crisis.” 

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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