ORLANDO, Fla. – Less than 24 hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida didn’t need help from New York to handle a recent surge in coronavirus cases, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a shipment of a drug being used to fight the respiratory disease is en route to Florida.
Cuomo said in a news release Friday that a shipment of the medication remdesivir to treat 280 COVID-19 patients will arrive in Florida Saturday.
“When New York was climbing the COVID mountain with no end in sight and resources were scarce, we were incredibly moved by the generosity of states around the country that stepped up to provide supplies and medical personnel in our time of need,” Cuomo said in a statement.
That time is now, according to the New York leader.
“Today, on behalf of all New Yorkers, we will deploy remdesivir to help Florida care for patients as it waits for further supply from the federal government,” Cuomo continued.
New York promised to help states in need as we were helped when we needed it.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 10, 2020
Today we pay it forward.
Tomorrow we will deliver Remdesivir to Florida to help care for COVID patients.
The people of NY stand shoulder to shoulder with Americans fighting this virus. pic.twitter.com/PXi8m3BYAo
DeSantis has repeatedly taken shots at New York’s coronavirus response where cases have now surpassed 399,500 and the death toll is more than 24,000.
However, in recent weeks New York has seen a decrease in new cases, on Thursday reporting nearly 750 new cases whereas Florida’s most recent new cases topped 11,300. More than 244,000 people have tested positive in Florida since March for the disease and more than 4,200 people have died as a result.
On Thursday, when asked during a news conference if Florida would accept help from New York, DeSantis said the Sunshine state didn’t need it.
“They’re not helping us,” he said. “I think that someone reached out to our office on ventilators we got 6,000 ventilators just, you know, sitting idle so we don’t necessarily need it.”
DeSantis said Florida asked the federal government for more remdesivir after some hospitals reported they were running low.
“I’m happy to report that on Saturday, our hospitals will be receiving additional remdesivir, so we’ve got 427 additional cases coming,” DeSantis said Friday but made no mention of any shipments from New York.
News 6 has asked both governor’s offices for clarification.