6 to Know: Florida Governor Blasts FDA for Halting Antibody Treatments

It’s Wednesday, January 26th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 – A Miami priest who serves as a pastor at Saint James Catholic Church learned last month that he’s the father of a child, the archdiocese said Tuesday.

Monsignor Chanel Jeanty discovered in December that he’d fathered the child from a relationship that ended over a year ago, the archdiocese said in a statement. Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy and are not allowed to have romantic relationships or get married. Jeanty has reached out to the mother and plans to contribute to the support of the child, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese did not release any information about the child’s age or gender.

No. 2 – The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for 39 people after the boat they were on reportedly capsized about 45 miles off Florida’s coast over the weekend.

Officials said the boat, believed to be part of a human smuggling venture, was reported to have capsized about 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet Saturday night. Coast Guard officials said they received a report from a good Samaritan who’d rescued a man found clinging to the vessel. The survivor said he’d left Bimini, Bahamas on Saturday night with 39 other people when they encountered severe weather which caused their vessel to capsize.

No. 3 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Tuesday to fight a decision from federal health regulators to block two coronavirus antibody treatments after the drugs were found to be ineffective against the widespread omicron variant.

“It’s really a reckless decision to be able to take this option away from patients when we’ve had the sites set up, we’ve had this distributed to different medical groups or hospitals,” DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday morning. The Republican governor’s comments come a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved to revoke emergency authorization for the antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly. The drugs, which were purchased by the federal government and administered to millions of Americans, had become a centerpiece of DeSantis’ coronavirus response as he resisted vaccine mandates and other safety measures.

No. 4 – It’s been more than a month since the Food and Drug Administration issued the emergency use authorizations for two COVID-19 antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck. 

And while they’re another tool in the toolbox in the fight against COVID-19, you might find they’re not so easy to find. According to the Florida Department of Health’s website, there are only two pharmacies in Broward and Miami-Dade counties that are able to fill these prescriptions right now. And you do need a prescription. Click here to find out where they are and why it’s been so small of a rollout in a report from NBC 6’s Alyssa Hyman.

No. 5 – Recently obtained 911 calls reveal the terrifying moments when a 15-year-old was accidentally shot in the head by another teen back in May 2020.

The panicked calls for help came from inside a Miami apartment unit, where Arya Gray was lying on the floor after she was shot. She was inside the apartment with her friends and her older sister, Sasha, who called 911. Arya made it to Jackson Memorial Hospital, but she later died. Witnesses told police then 17-year-old Thalys Oliveira pointed the weapon at Arya. Oliveira, now 19, may find out if he ends up spending the next 30 years behind bars, or be sent to a boot camp. Click here to find out why her family wants justice in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard in a report you’ll see Only on 6.

No. 6 – It’s quite a career arc. From kindergarten to Miami Senior High graduate to becoming a teacher, a principal, a regional superintendent, and chief of staff to Alberto Carvalho, Dr. Jose Dotres is as homegrown as it gets. 

The Miami-Dade County School Board voted 6-3 to make Dotres the next superintendent of the nation’s fourth-largest school district, succeeding Carvalho when he moves on to take over the Los Angeles Unified School District. Dotres is currently an assistant superintendent for Collier County Public Schools. Priority No. 1 for Dotres is reversing academic regression caused by the pandemic. Click here to find out why he says he’s ready to go in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.