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DeSantis strangling Florida’s COVID response

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Hospitals in Florida can’t get oxygen because declaring a State of Emergency would be too embarrassing for America’s COVID Governor (TM) (“My hero!” — Politico passim):

Florida hospitals are struggling to get oxygen due to a rise in Covid-19 cases attributable to the delta variant and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s decision not to declare another state of emergency.

A shortage of drivers who are qualified to transport oxygen, as well as restrictions around how long truck drivers can be on the road—which went back into effect following the expiration of the public health emergency in the state—means that the supply isn’t getting to the hospitals that need it most.

There is “plenty of oxygen, just not in the right area,” Brig. Gen. David Sanford, a member of the Health and Human Services Department Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response targeting team, said in an interview. The targeting team, which was created in January, works on health care industrial base expansion projects.

The fastest way to help hospitals that are running low on oxygen supply would be to move it from somewhere else in the state, Sanford said. Another solution could be asking industry participants to reallocate their own supplies in the state.

But absent certain transportation waivers, “hospitals are fighting with a hand tied behind their back and don’t have the same chance that they did when states had the public health emergencies declared,” said Soumi Saha, vice president of advocacy for hospital supply purchasing group Premier Inc.

Florida currently has 11,515 Covid-19 patients who are hospitalized, taking up 21% of intensive care unit beds as of Aug. 3, according to the Florida Hospital Association. Covid-19 can damage patients’ lungs, which means doctors need to deliver higher oxygen concentrations to get their breathing to adequate levels. Doctors and nurses also need more supplies to deliver oxygen to the high numbers of Covid-19 patients in their hospitals.

Again, DeSantis’s COVID response has nothing to do with “freedom” — he just wants as many people 65 and under as possible to get COVID to own the libs and increase his chances of winning the nomination if Trump can’t run in ’24.

…the critical question: who will win this horserace?

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