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'You're Lying To The Public': Hecklers Interrupt Gov. Ron DeSantis News Conference Claiming COVID-19 Data Cover Up

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis put out a call Monday for people who have had COVID-19 to donate blood, as the state topped 5,000 deaths of Florida residents due to the pandemic.

"One of the treatments that many physicians around the state believe is very effective is the use of convalescent plasma," DeSantis said Monday while at the Orlando headquarters of OneBlood, a blood-donation agency.

"This is a blood that's donated from somebody who has cleared the COVID-19 disease," DeSantis continued. "It has the antibodies, and that is then used on a patient who is sick in the hospital. And what they find is, as well as with some of the other treatments, the earlier you do it the more effective you will be."

The governor's appearance was interrupted by a group of protesters who accused DeSantis of mishandling the pandemic and covering up COVID-19 data.

Shouts of "Shame on you" and "You're lying to the public" continued to be heard from outside, where the protesters occasionally banged on the windows.

"We will not be defunding the police," DeSantis said once the protesters were moved outside. "So, don't worry about that. We're going to be supporting our men and women in law enforcement."

On Monday, the state Department of Health reported 90 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of Floridians who have died from the virus to 5,091. The state also reported 10,347 new cases. People between the ages of 25 and 34 accounted for 1,847 of the new cases, the largest increase among age groups.

(©2020 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida's contributed to this report.)

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