ORLANDO, Fla (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced another COVID-19 treatment site at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando monday afternoon.
Desantis said the monoclonal antibody treatment center at the stadium will be able to treat 320 COVID-19 positive patients per day, seven days a week, for free. He said the process is the same as scheduling a vaccine appointment, saying it can be done through the CDR patient portal.
Desantis and other officials attested to the effectiveness of the antibody treatment, saying it could help speed recovery if given early enough to those who have underlying conditions and aren’t vaccinated.
Simone Marstiller, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration said the treatment does work — describing how her immunocompromised daughter, who isn’t vaccinated, lost her fever hours after getting the treatment.
“By 10 o’clock the next morning, her fever dropped had to 99.6, so when you hear that the results of this treatment can indeed be dramatic, can keep people out of the hospital, it’s true, and I’ve seen it,” Marstiller said.
DeSantis said the treatments are free since the Trump Administration bought out the monoclonal antibodies.
When a reporter asked why him wasn’t pushing vaccines as much as the treatment, the governor retorted by saying he had 50 events to promote vaccines and that vaccinations do little for someone who is already infected by COVID-19.
“I hear some people say … this is thousands of dollars,” he said. “That is just not true. This is something that’s free and we want people to be able to take advantage of it, and of course especially, if you’re high-risk.”
He also said vaccines and antibody treatments aren’t mutually exclusive.
“Do both, but just understand, people who are vaccinated are still testing positive,” he said. “People who are very high risk, the vaccine is reducing their exposure to serious illness but (monoclonal antibody treatment) is still something we want them to know. If you do it, talk to your doctor. Maybe you still want to do this.”
With regards to COVID-19 case reporting, DeSantis responded to questions about the Florida Department of Health releasing daily numbers by saying the state is already releasing daily numbers through the CDC. However, these totals are delayed by several days, with the latest numbers being from Aug. 13, as of this report.
Finally, DeSantis addressed the lack of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, explaining that the federal government has not sent a shipment of the vaccine to Florida since May 2. He said once it is released again, the vaccine will be available at sites, along with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.