Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that his state did “the exact opposite” of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic as the nursing home death scandal threatens to overwhelm the Democrat’s administration.
DeSantis, who has been widely praised for protecting Florida’s elderly population, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday that his administration considered taking care of nursing home residents “the tip of the spear” in terms of handing the virus.
DeSantis: “We in Florida had the exact opposite order. We said you can’t send a COVID-positive nursing home resident back into the nursing home because that is the most vulnerable population and you obviously would put them at risk, but what we also did after the first few weeks, we established COVID-only nursing units, so if you had somebody test positive at a nursing home, they could be safely transferred and isolated so that the other residents were protected.
“We really viewed that as the tip of the spear when you’re dealing with COVID because … it is tending to kill people who are very elderly and very ill.”
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“Around mid-to-late March, we were all given models saying, ‘You’re not going to have any hospital beds in five days.’ Every governor got those models. I questioned the assumptions under those models, I didn’t think that they were valid and I said ‘I’m not going to construct our policy around that,’ but even if I was wrong, I would build more beds somewhere rather than throw these elderly people back into the fire of a nursing home where they could contaminate and infect a lot of other people.
“So it was just an important judgment we were all called upon to make and I think Florida did it right and obviously other states took a different path.”