Gov. Ron DeSantis doubted the validity of a news article reporting that Florida requested hundreds of ventilators from the federal government amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
Miami-based ABC affiliate WPLG reported Monday that 300 devices were expected to be delivered by day's end “to replace expended state stores" and cited a planning document from the Department of Health and Human Services, although the report didn't include who was the requesting authority in Florida.
“I have not heard about that, so I have to check to see if that’s true or not,” DeSantis said Tuesday when asked about the ventilator request. “I would honestly doubt that that’s true, but I’ll look. We have a lot of stuff that we stockpiled over the last year and a half through the Department of Emergency Management. I have not had any requests across my desk. I haven’t been notified of that.”
The Florida Department of Health indicated in a statement to the Washington Examiner it was responsible for the ventilator request.
"The Florida Department of Health reviews health care needs statewide on a consistent basis as part of [the National Strategic Stockpile] program, which is under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services," an agency spokesperson said in a statement. "The Department routinely works with the federal government to ensure adequate resources are available and ready to be distributed at all times, as done with this recent request."
The Washington Examiner reached out to DeSantis's office and the federal Department of Health and Human Services for more information.
Florida's COVID-19 case numbers have been on the rise for several weeks. The state Health Department reported Monday a previous three-day average of 18,795 new cases. A rise in hospitalizations has also ensued, with more than 13,000 being reported statewide on Sunday.
DeSantis, however, has been resistant to the imposition of new virus-related restrictions amid the uptick in infections, both in Florida and nationally, having ordered a ban on local authorities from mandating masks for children as classes resume for the fall semester and threatening penalties for those who don't comply.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman