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Tags: florida | covid-19 | ron desantis

Nearly 1M COVID-19 Tests Expired in Florida Due to Low Demand: Report

Nearly 1M COVID-19 Tests Expired in Florida Due to Low Demand: Report
(Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 07 January 2022 05:07 PM EST

Florida government officials this week said that up to 1 million COVID-19 rapid tests expired in a warehouse due to low demand, though a mayor in the state's most populous county sent a letter to Florida's surgeon general in December arguing the opposite, The Hill reports.

''We had between 800,000 and a million test kits, Abbott rapid test kits, in our warehouse that did expire,'' said Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Department of Emergency Management, in a Thursday press conference.

''We received a three-month extension on those test kits, which ended up expiring between Dec. 26 to Dec. 30. We tried to give them out beforehand, but there was no demand for it,'' he added.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters the state didn't want to send out inaccurate tests.

''The thing is, if they're not authorized, if they're not accurate, we don't want to send inaccurate tests,'' said DeSantis, a Republican. He also announced that the state will be providing up to 1 million rapid tests to nursing homes and assisted living facility residents.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a Democrat, on Dec. 21 wrote a letter to state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo asking that ''all possible tests be directed to Miami-Dade County to meet the growing demand for testing in our community.''

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democratic candidate for governor, last week brought up the issue of expiring tests.

''It's come to my attention that Governor DeSantis' Department of Health has a significant number of COVID-19 tests stockpiled that are set to expire imminently,'' she said in a Dec. 30 statement.

''Given the governor's lack of transparency throughout this pandemic, there's no known public information about these tests or how soon they expire,'' she said. ''With omicron infections exploding throughout Florida, I beg of him to release these tests immediately to local counties and cities, and to stand up state-sponsored testing sites.

''To let these tests expire while Floridians anxiously wait for hours in testing lines is negligent at best, and heartless at worst.''

Fried also responded to DeSantis confirming the expired tests: ''He just admitted that they have a stockpile of '800,000 to a million' expired COVID-19 tests they never sent out,'' she tweeted Thursday.

''They expired (after being extended) between 12/26-30/21),'' she added. ''Just like I told you.''

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Florida government officials this week said that up to 1 million COVID-19 rapid tests expired in a warehouse due to low demand, though a mayor in the state's most populous county sent a letter to Florida's surgeon general in December arguing the opposite, The Hill ...
florida, covid-19, ron desantis
388
2022-07-07
Friday, 07 January 2022 05:07 PM
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