Florida secures 1 million at-home COVID-19 tests, prioritizing elderly
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

DeSantis 2
The Governor is going with a 'Seniors First' approach to test distribution.

Gov. Ron DeSantis returned to the Fox News Channel Thursday morning ahead of an early press conference in West Palm Beach, with “breaking news” that the state had secured 1 million at-home COVID-19 tests.

These will be routed to nursing homes, long-term care facilities and “local communities where they can focus them on elderly people,” according to the Governor.

The goal is “high-value” testing. DeSantis believes testing is “something that should lead to a clinical result.”

“People are starting to understand that this is something that’s out there, but it’s more akin to a cold or a flu,” DeSantis said on “Fox and Friends.”

Minutes after the cable hit, DeSantis began the formal press conference making the same announcement.

Noting that promises of tests from the federal government have not materialized, DeSantis said the state has the ability to send out a million of those tests.

“Our view on testing is if you are young and healthy, you don’t need to go out and get tested every day,” DeSantis said, stressing again the “Seniors First” prioritization with these tests.

DeSantis himself is living by this counsel. He told reporters he hadn’t been tested in a long time, noting that while Donald Trump was President he was tested regularly. But since he’s not symptomatic, he said he’s not getting tested.

DeSantis continues to note that omicron, while more contagious, has less severe symptoms. But whether people have omicron or delta, DeSantis says the “vulnerable” should be tested.

DeSantis soon pivoted back to cast more doubt on the federal ability to provide tests.

“I don’t know if there’s any prospect of the federal government following through,” DeSantis said. “I don’t even know if they have the contracts.”

An email from the Governor’s Office after the press conference made supportive points.

“While the Biden Administration has promised the American people 500 million tests and a website from which to order them, they have delivered no tests; there is no website; there is no timetable for delivery. Furthermore, the public health bureaucrats in Washington continue to encourage low-value testing of healthy, asymptomatic young people to essentially conduct surveillance testing not contingent on exposure, driving up demand for tests despite the Biden Administration’s failure to secure adequate supply,” the email read.

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo’s new testing guidelines, DeSantis noted, will “tie testing to outcomes.”

Ladapo, who contends it was “specious” to say COVID-19 could be eliminated, repeated prior messaging, saying this plan was part of the DeSantis strategy of “sensible public health.”

“It’s the very opposite of what we’ve seen for the last two years,” Ladapo continued, questioning the wisdom of testing “small children” at schools over senior citizens, and the “insensible, harmful, wasteful” federal strategy writ large.

Testing the asymptomatic is “abnormal,” Ladapo added, especially in light of the “amount of natural immunity” in Florida and access to vaccines for high-risk populations.

Meanwhile, there is an uptick in omicron cases in long-term care facilities, noted Simone Marstiller, the Secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • trump lost

    January 6, 2022 at 10:27 am

    Florida: Third in the country in overall Covid Deaths (beating out NY); tenth per 100,000.

    Desantis lacks the leadership and intelligence to handle this crisis.

    Proof is in the results.

    • Work At Home

      January 7, 2022 at 5:11 pm

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    • Antonio

      January 10, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      You do realize we are the third most populous state (beating out NY), so it looks like we are right in line with the states that masked up and locked down. Meaning the masks and lockdowns didn’t make a difference.

      And it seems over 220,000 new Florida residents disagree with your take on Desantis’ leadership and intelligence.

      The proof is in the results.

  • Kathy

    January 6, 2022 at 10:39 am

    I suppose we “old people” will have to go through the same maze for these tests as we did for the vaccinations. I waited 3 months while Desantis was having his private vaccination parties here in Port Charlotte when the Health Department had nothing for old folks with compromised immune systems. He has taken entitlement to a whole new level.

  • Concern Citizen

    January 9, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    62,688 Floridians have lost their lives to Covid. How many of these deaths could have been prevented if DeSantis had better policies toward the prevention of Covid?
    He will blame people such as President Biden and Dr. Fauci for not doing enough but he will NOT support their attempts to prevent the spread of Covid. If anything, he is creating barriers with lies and misinformation that run contrary to their attempts to stop Covid.
    The cry of “Give Me Liberty (freedom) Or Give Me Death” has taken on a new meaning in Florida.

    • Antonio

      January 10, 2022 at 5:04 pm

      We would have a similar number of deaths had we locked down and masked up. Look at NY and California, it’s made NO difference. At least Florida is being productive and helping the nation move forward. All the recent jobs reports that DC loves to tout so much are largely responsible due to Florida’s job gains.

      Let me ask you: How many deaths could be prevented if people ate better and exercised more? If people didn’t ride cars or motorcycles? What if everyone never left their houses and covered the floor and walls with padded cushions, this way they can never get hurt if they slip and fall? Imagine all the lives that could be saved if no one did anything whatsoever…

      Do you get it yet?

Comments are closed.


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