Though New York’s Governor said Wednesday that his state was willing to help Florida as needed in the coronavirus fight, it remains to be seen what, if anything, that help will look like
In Jacksonville Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis took issue with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s assertion that help was on the way.
DeSantis said that while an offer was in fact made, it wasn’t anything Florida needed.
The Governor said “they’re not helping us. I think someone had reached out to our office about ventilators. We’ve got 6,000 ventilators just sitting idle.”
DeSantis went on to say “we don’t necessarily need it,” before returning to a familiar narrative about ways Florida outperformed New York in various areas during the crisis.
As he did on the Sean Hannity show earlier this week, DeSantis discussed how Florida’s approach to managing its nursing home population was “superior” to New York’s, where Cuomo made the fateful decision to return COVID-19 positive patients to long term care facilities, where over 6,300 died as a result.
In June, Cuomo said his team reached out to states currently dealing with spiking case loads, as the New York Daily News reported.
“It is open-ended, however we can help,” he said during a conference call with reporters. “We are in a position to provide any of the above. Equipment, staff, knowledge, ventilators, National Guard assistance, whatever they need.”
On Wednesday, Cuomo suggested that there was progress.
“You’re seeing a tremendous spike. Some hospitals are running out of ICUS, which is a really frightening situation to be in,” Cuomo said. “Whatever they need, Florida has said they might need assistance from us, whatever they need, we’ll provide.”
The Cuomo/DeSantis back and forth is well-documented.
The Governor spent much of the spring crowing about how Florida escaped the fatal fate of New Yorkers, many of whom died from the virus, but by the middle of June the optics had shifted, and New York was preparing to quarantine arriving Floridians along with those from other hotspot states.
DeSantis’ biting rejoinder was that if they were to be quarantined, it shouldn’t be in New York nursing homes.
The quarantine was imposed days later, and the starch had gone out of the Governor’s attacks.
“They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do,” the Governor said about the decision, adding that he didn’t want to quarantine New Yorkers earlier in the year, but he had to.
What’s clear is that whatever help was tendered by Albany, Tallahassee believes it can get by without it.