State Watch

DeSantis says he doubts reports of Florida ventilators request

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he is doubtful of reports that Florida requested 300 ventilators even as a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed the request.

“I have not heard about that, so I have to check to see if that’s true or not,” DeSantis told ABC News affiliate Local 10 after they reported the Florida Health Department’s request for 300 ventilators from the federal government. 

“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,” he added.

An HHS spokesperson said 200 ventilators and 100 other breathing devices were sent to the state earlier this week.

“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,” Weesam Khoury, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health, told The Hill.

The local outlet reported the ventilator request occurred on Friday, when Florida recorded more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases.

The rise in coronavirus cases in the states comes as Florida has fully vaccinated 51 percent of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

DeSantis has been wary of implementing new coronavirus restrictions in the state and is currently in a battle with local school districts regarding children wearing masks to class.

Updated at 1:27 p.m.

Tags COVID-19 Florida Ron DeSantis ventilators

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