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Be Like Florida: Demand Life-Saving Monoclonal Antibodies in Your State

Governor Ron DeSantis has made monoclonal antibody treatment available to all vulnerable residents, vaccinated or not.

A Facebook user offered amazing testimony about her experience receiving monoclonal antibodies in Florida after she was exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Florida resident Andrea Gainey explains that the process for the treatment is easy and the website to sign up is user-friendly. The process took “three minutes” and arrived 30 minutes after she signed up. Gainey describes caring and efficient healthcare workers and a process run like a well-oiled machine.

As with every effective treatment for the coronavirus, antibody infusions have been politicized, but unlike other treatments, monoclonal antibodies have been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis started heavily promoting the treatment, there was not much information available to the public.

Educating the Public

Back in April, RAIR Foundation USA wrote about Texas Internist and Cardiologist Peter McCullough, MD, who has been fighting despite great personal sacrifice to educate citizens about effective coronavirus treatments. Not surprisingly, YouTube removed a video “in a matter of days” he produced dealing with the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies and other treatments.

On August 5, RAIR featured an exclusive interview with Dr. McCullough in which he referenced antibody infusions directly, and claimed that they cut mortality by an astonishing 50%:

There’s 500 million pre-purchased doses of these antibodies and none of the hospitals are letting the patients know where they are. Governments never mention it on TV, no public service announcements, no media announcements. So in fact patients should demand antibody infusions.”

On the same day RAIR published the exclusive interview, Governor Ron DeSantis visited with Tampa General Hospital to “discuss successful treatment options for COVID-19, including the monoclonal antibody treatment process.”

Source

Since then, there has been a whirlwind of activity in Florida surrounding the treatment, which has been effectively made available to all vulnerable residents, vaccinated or not. In addition to the clinics throughout Florida, Governor DeSantis has overseen “monoclonal antibody strike teams” that have brought the treatment to “long-term care facilities.”

Americans should be vigilant in fighting for this treatment to be made available in all states, following Florida’s lead.

Share Andrea Gainey’s testimony and ask that other governors follow Ron DeSantis’ lead in offering the effective treatment to all citizens who need it.

Read the testimony from Andrea Gainey:

Today, I received the monoclonal antibody treatment.
I am not COVID-19 positive. I have never had COVID-19. I was recently exposed to someone who is positive. After running a very low grade fever while still testing negative, I decided to take my own advice and get the treatment.

I went online and made an appointment, a process that took around 3 minutes. There were about 10 questions, much easier than most pre-testing paperwork. I had an appointment for 30 minutes from the time I went online. On a Saturday. You do NOT have to have an appointment, walk-ins are welcome.


I arrived and waited outside the door before a very sweet nurse opened the door to let me in. They monitor people arriving via camera. She had very comforting eyes. I say that because that’s all I could see. She was suited up head to toe to protect from the COVID-19 patients she will see all day, every single day of the week. She brought me in and gave me some additional paperwork. I filled out the paperwork including emergency contact and was done in less than 5 minutes. She walked over and apologized for interrupting to take my vitals. She APOLOGIZED for getting to me SO SOON. Imagine that.


The waiting area is small. I now assume it’s because they get to people so quick. I was taken immediately back to an area divided by black privacy curtains into “rooms”. Before I could be seated, Holly Kelley, RN from Jay, FL, originally from Jackson County, greeted me and asked me if I had any questions about the monoclonal antibody treatments. I told her I felt like I had done my fair share of research (I know all of you are laughing or rolling your eyes).


Holly explained she would be giving me 4 subcutaneous shots. This treatment can be done both subcutaneously or intravenously. She asked me where it would be most comfortable for me to receive the shots, that’s right, you have options. Stomach or arms. I decided on arms. She told me that the nurse practitioner would be in shortly to go over my paperwork and sign off on treatment.


Around 32 seconds later, I kid you not, Sarah James, Nurse Practioner from Bay County, walked in. Sarah was incredibly helpful. She offered to answer any questions (I had none, obviously), she reviewed my paperwork, and then we ended up discussing what she is witnessing at the site.


Sarah told me she waited to form an opinion on monoclonal antibody treatments until she saw the proof with her own eyes and she is a believer. She was an emergency room nurse for 16 years before this. She has watched countless people come in and this treatment is making the difference. She keeps track of her sickest patients. The ones who received the treatment, recovered. She is a believer.


Sarah also told me how many people they see coming from other states to be treated. One after another they tell stories of not being able to get access to the infusion. For those who were able to get an appointment in their state, it was more than 5 days away, making the treatment less effective.
I didn’t realize while we were talking, Holly was giving me my injections. Holly had warned me there could be a very slight burning sensation when the injection was given, I’ll agree it was there, but not enough to even make me realize I was still getting shots while I was listening to Sarah’s stories of recovery.


Four shots later. I’m done with the treatment.

It took me awhile to even arrive at the “observation area”. I stopped to hear remarkable stories from a group of healthcare workers who want to save people. They are humble. They never talk about their personal success, but consistently told me how great their coworkers are. Holly couldn’t wait to tell me how amazing Sarah is. How she devotes all her time, even when she doesn’t have to, making sure the site is running well and people are taken care of. She’s created a flag system to help quickly see the status of the patient in each room. She consistently puts her 16 years of experience as an ER nurse into making the site work smoothly for the patients. They couldn’t wait to tell me about their other Nurse Practitioner, Valerie Brown, from Okaloosa County. Valerie was one of the first to work the site. She came in to a blank slate. She made a plan and got the ball rolling for patients to navigate the process efficiently.


About this time, Jennifer McBride, Chief Nursing Officer from Gulf Shores, AL, walked up. Jennifer met my coworker, Kim Rodgers, early on and we have spoke with Jennifer often about questions constituents have for us that we can’t answer. Jennifer works 7 days a week, from 9am until 5pm. She leaves the site, grabs dinner to go, and heads to her hotel. She works a grueling schedule and has never once ignored our call. Not only does she take our calls, she seems very happy to do so.


Once I finally got to the observation area, I was seated, socially distanced, from others who had received treatment. They wait the hour required to ensure you don’t have a reaction, take your vitals and providing everything is ok, direct you to checkout.


At checkout, the nurse asked me if I was feeling ok? I was. She was worried because I had been there longer than normal. Oh, yeah, about that. I stopped to talk awhile before I made it to observation. Jennifer laughed, confirmed my story, and praised the nurse for catching that detail and checking on me.


After asking if there was anything our office could do for them, they had one request, please make sure people know about this treatment and this site.


They want to serve people. They want to keep us out of the hospital and alive. They want their biggest problem to be finding more space to put people. Right now, there are seats empty that could be filled with people who desperately need this treatment.


I assured them we will do our best to send them, it’s the very least we can do.


Pictured: Sarah James, Holly Kelley, Jennifer McBride, Valerie Brown, and the Bay County Infusion Site Staff.

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is an investigative journalist and documentary film producer.

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