White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden, Putin to talk next week amid military buildup in Ukraine Epidemic of smash-and-grab crime is definitely man-made US intelligence says Russia planning Ukraine offensive involving 175K troops: reports MORE on Wednesday questioned why Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisThe Memo: Media obsess over Trump's past as he eyes comeback DeSantis proposes civilian Florida State Guard military force he would control Haley hits the stump in South Carolina MORE (R) would be "opposed" to receiving ventilators given the COVID-19 rise in his state.
“As a policy, we don’t send ventilators to states without their interest in receiving the ventilators. I think the most important question here is why would you oppose receiving the ventilators when clearly you need those in your state given the percentage of hospitalizations that are occurring?” Psaki said when asked if the White House knows who in Florida made the request for hundreds of more ventilators.
DeSantis had told ABC News he was unaware of the request made by his state’s health department for ventilators.
The Biden administration sent some 200 ventilators and 100 smaller breathing devices from the strategic national stockpile to Florida at the state’s request to deal with the rising COVID-19 cases straining area hospitals.
ABC News affiliate Local 10 reported Monday that the Florida Health Department requested 300 ventilators Friday from the federal government, the request DeSantis said he was unaware of.
Psaki said she saw the remarks from DeSantis and representatives of the governor. She was asked if it's feasible that DeSantis was unaware the ventilators were sent to his state.
“I think that’s really a question for the governor and his team,” Psaki said.
DeSantis has banned local mask and vaccine mandates in Florida amid the surge in recent weeks in COVID-19 cases in the state.