MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was back in Miami Monday, where he visited Jackson Memorial Hospital to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.
“We can’t get swept away in fear. We have to understand what’s going on. We need to understand that we do have a long road ahead,” he said.
He’s speaking at a health system that announced last week it was low on remdesivir. A study shows the drug, originally used to treat Ebola, helps COVID-19 patients recover faster.
Since then, the governor said new shipments were delivered over the weekend.
“They were due a shipment sometime, I think, by the end of this week or next week. But they wanted to have enough because they were using it. Physicians like it and with the uptick in people in the hospital,” he said.
At Monday’s news conference, the governor reiterated taking care of the most vulnerable, like those in nursing homes, and increasing testing.
The governor mentioned the number of tests coming back are negative.
“Recently, it has been about 85% of the people who tests come back negative. We would like to get that back to 90% plus percent of the people are testing negative. We think we’ve stabilized. We think we may be going in that direction,” DeSantis said.
The governor was joined by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
“We have to follow the rules. Please, if you follow the rules, if we all do what we are supposed to do, we can drive the level of contagion down,” Gimenez said.
He also said if numbers continue to increase at hospitals, there may be more rollbacks.
Jackson CEO Carlos Migoya also said the number of beds is not a concern, but staffing is since COVID patients require more nurses.
Some contract workers have started and others are still on the way.
As for the governor, his critics say he doesn’t have a plan to fight the virus and slow the spread statewide.
CBS4’s Ty Russell asked the governor for his statewide plan to tamp down numbers. He answered about death rates.
“Nursing homes are probably the number one thing you can do to reduce the risk of mortality,” he responded. “There’s a difference between a 21-year-old and an 85-year-old, when it comes to this coronavirus. So, that is really important in terms of our strategy to protect the most vulnerable and reduce infections amongst those who are most susceptible.”
During an interview with CNN, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told an anchor he believes the governor should sign a mask mandate.
“I don’t know why he hasn’t just said to the entire state ‘everybody has to wear a mask’ because that’s how we are we are going to keep our economy a little bit open,” the mayor said.
At the start of the news conference, a man also shouted at the governor and county mayor to show his disapproval.
“More than 4,000 people have died. You guys are blaming the protestors. You have no plan,” Thomas Kennedy said. “You’re doing nothing. Shame on you.”
Kennedy, who identifies himself as a Bernie Sanders supporter and hoping defeat President Trump, made his voice heard.
Top Democrats in the State Senate over the weekend expressed a similar message.