Ron DeSantis has returned to public view after a two-week absence where he was accused of being "MIA" during record-breaking coronavirus case counts. On Monday the Republican governor held a press conference to blast President Joe Biden, demanding he allow Florida purchase a COVID-19 treatment that is manufactured by a company one of his top donors has heavily invested in.
Standing behind a sign promoting "treatment" – not vaccines or masks – DeSantis said the GOP-controlled state legislature has approved one billion dollars to purchase the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment, should the federal government allow it, WFLA reports.
“Now that we’ve gotten the pathway cleared with Regeneron," DeSantis told reporters, referring to the company that manufactures monoclonal antibody treatments. “We have the ability and we will immediately turn on additional sites as soon as the federal government gives us a supply." He also named two other new treatments made by other companies.
But as HuffPost reported, DeSantis had been "flying around the state promoting Regeneron" last summer.
"Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund, has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has donated $10.75 million to a political committee that supports DeSantis — $5.75 million in 2018 and $5 million last April."
DeSantis also told reporters on Monday, “We are ready to go, on all of this, and have been ready for a long time,” referring to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments. “We do not believe the federal government should be holding back anymore medications. We feel we have to offer this. Particularly for our elderly population.”
DeSantis did not promote getting vaccinated or wearing masks, far less expensive actions that have better results.