According to a press release issued today by Anchorage Mayor David Bronson, WEKA Medical will stand up a new treatment center that will provide vaccinations, testing and monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments.
The new treatment center will be located at…wait for it…the Golden Lion Hotel!
In July 2020, the Municipality of Anchorage put forward a proposal to purchase properties in downtown and Midtown to address a modest redistribution of locations to provide homeless shelter, day services, housing, and concurrent substance use disorder treatment services. Muni’s endeavors included the intention to purchase Bean’s Cafe, America’s Best Hotel, Alaska Club, and Golden Lion.
Anchorage political activist Russell Biggs, with the help of the pro-Bronson “Save Anchorage” Facebook group he helps administer, vehemently opposed such a move and now as fate would have it, WEKA Medical will take up business in the Golden Lion after securing a lucrative contract to provide monoclonal antibodies to Anchorage residents.
At an Alaska Public Media Mayoral Debate held during the Anchorage mayoral campaign, Bronson said he would sell the Golden Lion Hotel on “day one” after becoming mayor.
WEKA LLC owners Todd Herring and his wife Crystal, and through five of their various businesses, have donated thousands of dollars to both Mayor Bronson’s campaign and a pro-Bronson Independent Expenditure group.
Lately, Mayor Bronson has touted the benefits of “experimental” monoclonal antibody treatments, which have been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. The treatment is authorized for people who are considered “high risk” under U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for severe COVID-19 illness, who either test positive or are deemed to be a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus.
Mayor Bronson has stopped short of telling people not to get the vaccine, but has never issued a full-throated endorsement of the tool available that could defeat the virus; instead opting to tout a treatment in place of the COVID vaccine that prevents infection in the first place.
Today’s announcement from the Office of the Mayor appears to be a great return on the political investments made by WEKA’s owners.