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Rep. Murphy Says Central Florida Must Diversify Its Economy In Order to Survive Pandemic

Photo: Sarah McCutcheon
Photo: Sarah McCutcheon

Her remarks came at an economic round table with the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.

Murphy said one of the ways the region is already doing this is by participating in clinical trials for coronavirus-related therapies. 

In her district alone, there are nine trials ongoing for treatments as widespread as remdesivir and convalescent plasma to vaccines.

She said the benefits of being on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 aren’t just economical, but good for local patients.

“If patients can be discharged from area hospitals sooner this helps to reduce the strain on our healthcare system and on our essential healthcare workers.”

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Murphy said the area is perfectly suited to this work with the combined creative knowledge of theme park entrepreneurs matched with local research universities. 

Dr. Sean Benoit is Chief Medical Officer at the Central Florida Regional Hospital. 

Benoit says his team is looking for patients from different racial and socioeconomic groups for a convalescent plasma trial and soon a vaccine trial.

Unlike the flu shot which is intended for a smaller patient population, he says a coronavirus vaccine will be more widespread.

"So we want to get as wide a net as possible and get many of those individuals into these tests so that we can feel very secure that our treatment is something we can recommend to everyone.”

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Benoit said it’s crucial to understand the role racial and socioeconomic disparities play in patient outcomes.

For more information on participating in clinical trials at the hospital call 833-582-1971. 



Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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