Ron DeSantis’ office: ‘No shortage of ventilators’ despite DOH’s request for more
Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis
'Why would you oppose receiving ventilators when you clearly need those in your state?'

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ office maintains there’s no shortage of ventilators anywhere in Florida despite the federal government shipping hundreds to the state.

The Department of Health and Human Services delivered 200 ventilators to Florida this week after a request from the Florida Department of Health for more of the breathing apparatuses critical in fighting severe cases of COVID-19. With a record number of hospitalizations for the disease in Florida in recent weeks, that raised questions of whether the state expects the current wave to worsen instead of leveling off like DeSantis says it is.

“There is no shortage of ventilators in Florida,” DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, said Wednesday in a statement to Florida Politics. “The request from DOH was just in case. It wasn’t in response to a shortage. We still don’t have a shortage.”

DeSantis on Tuesday told reporters he was unaware of the shipment or the Health Department’s request for ventilators, sparking questions about how DeSantis manages the pandemic. Off the cuff, DeSantis initially doubted HHS had ever sent a shipment.

The Governor’s Office maintains it is not involved in requesting ventilators from the federal government. The state Health Department takes requests directly to HHS.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked earlier Wednesday about DeSantis’ statement regarding the shipment.

“As a policy, we don’t send ventilators to states without their interests in receiving the ventilators,” Psaki said. “I think the most important question here is, why would you oppose receiving ventilators when you clearly need those in your state given the percentage of hospitalizations that are occurring?”

Pushaw, shot back, calling Psaki’s latest volley in the White House’s critiques of DeSantis misleading.

“When did the Governor ‘oppose receiving ventilators?’ Never. It’s important for the (White House) press secretary to be accurate and refrain from spreading disinformation. She represents the President, after all,” Pushaw said.

HHS provides ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile. Those supplies can be used as a “short-term, stopgap buffer” when an immediate supply isn’t available locally. The state Health Department also maintains a warehouse with ventilators, part of its core function now in the fight against the pandemic.

Health care facilities’ requests for ventilators make their way to DOH through local county health departments. The Governor’s Office, which maintains contact with major hospital CEOs, also welcomes direct requests.

“We ask ‘what do you need?’ And there haven’t been requests,” DeSantis said Tuesday.

Both Psaki and President Joe Biden have attacked DeSantis in named and unnamed criticisms of how he has managed the pandemic, particularly the latest wave. Biden on Wednesday said the White House was considering ways it could intervene to protect the salaries of school board members and superintendents who violate DeSantis’ prohibition on school mask mandates.

After Biden told DeSantis and other Republicans to “get out of the way” of local governments trying to combat the virus last week, DeSantis responded, telling the President that he was “standing in your way” and “I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.” Biden dismissed DeSantis’ four-minute remarks, quipping “Governor who?

Despite the weeks of back and forth with Tallahassee, Psaki says the Governor is not the main target.

“Our war is not on DeSantis,” she said. “It’s on the virus, which we’re trying to kneecap, and he does not seem to want to participate in that effort to kneecap the virus, hence our concern.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


18 comments

  • Kathy In St. Pete

    August 11, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Such a ridiculous man. He’s playing politics with the health and lives of people across this state and I just don’t know how anyone thinks his reckless mismanagement qualifies as good governance.

    Certainly someone in his administration decided to request those ventilators because they are needed. Desantis is clearly embarrassed that one of his underlings decided to sidestep their petulant and irresponsible boss and instead do what is best for the state’s residents.

    This incompetent governor is well aware that what he is doing is political malpractice, and hospital beds are filling up and lives are being lost due to Covid all because of his policies and complete failure to lead ON Covid yet ONCE AGAIN.

    Newsflash: Florida leads the nation in Covid hospitalizations and deaths, for at least the second time since the pandemic arrived. And that is the case because this state’s governor is a heartless pig and an imbecile.

    • Jerry

      August 11, 2021 at 5:03 pm

      Kathy, We are not going to shut down the state for a virus with a 99% survival rate. This virus will likely be with us forever. It’s endemic. Even the creator of the AstraZeneca vaccine now says it’s impossible to eradicate. It’s here for good. If you want to wear a mask, wear it. If you want the vaccine? Get it. If you only want to work from home because you are scared? Find a job that lets you. But understand that we are not shutting down the state. We are not going to shred the constitution or eliminate people’s choices over their own medical decisions.

      • Alex

        August 11, 2021 at 5:15 pm

        I guess I missed the part in the Constitution that lets idiots like DeathsAnus endanger folks and especially kids health.

        Can you point out where that part is for me?

        Thanks

        • Jerry

          August 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm

          So now I have to wear masks forever and my kids have to wear masks forever and we have to do waves of lockdowns and never-ending mandates and more trillion-dollar stimulus money, and everyone gets to stay rent-free forever…. Unlimited booster shots….all so you can feel more safe?

          What’s the end game, bro? Eventually the human race will have to figure out how to live with this. Because it’s not going away. We can’t eradicate the flu and we won’t eradicate this either. It’s not sustainable to our economy or our country to stay in perpetual lockdowns.

          • Alex

            August 11, 2021 at 6:17 pm

            So you have no rights you’ve lost, instead you have whining.

            No one knows exactly how this will play out in the future, perhaps it’ll be your dark end of the world scenario, or more likely you’ll just have to bite the bullet and GET THE VACCINE AND BOOSTERS, AND WEAR THE FUCKING MASK WHEN YOU SHOULD!

            Yes we know it’s so hard for you.

            Put on your big boy pants.

          • Bob Jones

            August 12, 2021 at 12:08 am

            I agree with Alex, but without the profanity. My short reply: This is not an “either-or” situation and we all have a social responsibility to contribute to gaining control over this virus b. This is a public health issue not a political statement. Misinformation is fueling our failure. The very conservative Heritage Foundation, who deals with a lot of Constitutional issues. put out this statement about Covid Constitutional issue in Mar 2020, that is still in place. https://www.heritage.org/the-constitution/commentary/constitutional-guide-emergency-powers

  • Alex

    August 11, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    “Just in case” I turn out to be an idiot for swearing no more masks”

    Yes DeathsAnus, we know you’re a fool with a big mouth.

    • Jack Graham

      August 12, 2021 at 10:20 am

      You may be saying something worth listening to, but using the term “DeathsAnus” (which, btw, is such a stretch to DeSantis that it’s beyond absurd) is so over the top ridiculous and inane, I’ve completely disregarded every thing that came after that.

      • Alex

        August 12, 2021 at 10:54 am

        Because he’s an asshole whose willful negligence has resulted in thousands of deaths, massive suffering (do you know anyone who’s been on a ventilator? Not a whole lot survive the experience), and uncounted medical bills that most can’t afford, that then gets absorbed into the hospital system, and raises the cost for everyone else.
        Yep, great guy.

  • Frankie M.

    August 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Pushaw is Ronnie’s Kellyanne Conway. Just a soup sandwich disguised as a shitshow. But as long as we can talk politics we don’t need to talk about covid.

  • father gabriel

    August 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    THE WORD IS

    “ambidexterity” BY dR LARYY MYERS

    ALL U NEED TO KNO

    VACCINATION
    COVID

    PLAYWRIGHTS SANCTUARY
    CORRUPT APPLE PIE FASCISM

  • Tom

    August 11, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Incompetent Manchurian bot haters.
    Haters from the heart!
    How’s Cuomo, Newsom, and Northam looking,
    U Dums are fools
    DeSantis , America’s Gov wins by 10pts Nov/22.
    Cry eye. LMAO

    • Tom Palmer

      August 11, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      What do other states have to do with Florida. Misdirection at its best Amerika’s Fuhrer.

  • Tom

    August 11, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    You are an idiot.
    Pigs like Bill Clinton and Andrew Cuomo.
    You pathetic human.
    DeSantis stands on Angels wings.
    Enjoy.

    • Tjb

      August 12, 2021 at 10:45 am

      Maybe he should be order coffins for our school children, Perhaps their souls can rest on Angels Wings.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 12, 2021 at 6:38 am

    Omg Duffus Desantis is placing our children in harms way for his own political bs goals! One child dies is one to many! Lock up Duffus Desantis! Duffus Desantis you are just a Nazi wannabe! Get out Desantis!

    • Jack Graham

      August 12, 2021 at 10:21 am

      What is Duffus? Is that a racial slur?

  • Raymond Hall

    August 13, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    DeSantis is only throwing red meat to moron Trump supporters in hopes of being POTUS one day. He’s never had an original idea. He asks what would Trump do … and then like the uninformed Trump supporters does what Trump says or does. It’s pretty clear and very stupid.

    He keeps losing in courts, Cruise Lines, School Boards, parents…and each court case costs Florida taxpayers money.

    DeSantis should be impeached and removed from office immediately. He has shown he has no idea what he is doing, what the Constitution means and is not keeping Florida(and Floridas children) safe.

Comments are closed.


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