Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that his promotion of monoclonal antibody treatment has played a role in a dip in people being hospitalized because of COVID-19. Appearing at a news conference in Fort Myers, DeSantis said the “vast majority” of people who have received the treatment at state-supported centers would not have known about its availability or had easy access to it before he started touting the treatment.
“Had we not done this, how many people would have ended up getting worse with no treatment? So we are glad this is something that now people understand,” DeSantis said. The state sites are offering monoclonal antibody treatment produced by the drug company Regeneron. The treatment is designed to help people after they have COVID-19.
“On the backend, after infection occurs, this has been the most effective intervention to provide early treatment,” DeSantis said. “Obviously, it’s all about early treatment saving lives. Also, keeping people out of the hospital. Nobody wants to be in a hospital or ICU. The hospitals have had a really trying summer with a lot more patients.”
Patients do not need to get doctors’ notes for the treatment. As of Wednesday, Florida had 15,177 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to data posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. That was down from 15,682 on Tuesday. About one in three patients hospitalized in Florida have COVID-19, according to the website. Meanwhile, the decrease in hospitalizations coincides with a University of Florida model from biostatisticians who concluded that the COVID-19 caseload would peak in late August and that hospitalizations would begin to drop significantly in September.