Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday doubted the validity of a news article reporting that his state had requested hundreds of ventilators from the federal government amid rising COVID-19 cases, The Washington Examiner reports.
On Monday, Miami-based ABC affiliate WPLG reported that 300 devices were expected to be delivered by day's end “to replace expended state stores" and cited a planning document from the Department of Health and Human Services. The report did not include who was the requesting authority in Florida.
“I have not heard about that, so I have to check to see if that’s true or not,” DeSantis said Tuesday when asked about the ventilator request.
“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.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Florida Department of Health and the federal Department of Health and Human Services for more information.
Florida's COVID-19 case numbers have been on the rise for several weeks.
On Tuesday, according to NBC News, 14,787 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, 145 percent more than during the state’s previous peak in July 2020, according to the Florida Hospital Association.
Nearly 90 percent of the state’s ICU beds were in use and 85 percent of all in patient beds were filled, the group said.
DeSantis has been in a sparring match with the Biden administration in recent days over his implementation of a ban on mask requirements. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that his administration is looking into whether there is any federal action that could be taken to allow Florida schools to require masks.