Speaking to reporters last Thursday, DeSantis pointedly denied that New York was helping his state’s Covid-19 response, stating, “They’re not helping us.”
“I think that someone reached out to our office about ventilators — we got 6,000 just sitting idle, so we don’t need it,” the governor added. “We are working with the federal government on some of the Remdesivir.”
A staffer in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office had sent an email to a staffer in DeSantis’ on Wednesday with the subject “Florida need Remdesivir?”
That message was forwarded to a staffer at the Florida Department of Health who replied, “Any assistance you are able to provide is very much appreciated.”
“Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any additional information,” the person said.
Cuomo touted the assistance in a statement Friday, saying New York “will deploy Remdesivir to help Florida care for patients as it waits for further supply from the federal government.”
“We will stand by our fellow Americans every step of the way as our nation fights COVID-19 together.”
DeSantis, however, did not mention Cuomo during a press conference Saturday, praising instead Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for their help in securing the remdesivir for Florida.
A DeSantis spokesperson, Helen Ferre, told CNN Sunday, “It is not unusual for state health departments to communicate amongst each other, especially during a pandemic. New York reached out to Florida and the Department of Health responded appropriately.”
In the past weeks, the state broke multiple records of single-day highs in new cases and reported another 10,360 new infections Saturday. Around 40 hospitals across the state have no ICU beds available and more than 7,000 patients are hospitalized statewide with the virus, state data showed Saturday.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Holly Yan, Elizabeth Cohen and Arman Azad contributed to this report.