CBS 12 News reports that on July 9, Governor Rick DeSantis (R-FL) publicly downplayed New York’s role in providing Florida with shipments of Remdesivir, a drug discovered to shorten some patients’ COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- On July 9, while speaking to reporters, DeSantis directly said of New York, “They’re not helping us.”
- He added, “We are working with the federal government on some of the Remdesivir.”
- However, emails first reported by POLITICO and later reviewed by CNN portray a different series of events. A staffer in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) office had sent an email on Wednesday to a staffer in DeSantis’s on July 8, who forwarded the email to a staffer in the Florida Department of Health.
- The email’s subject line read, “Florida need Remdesivir?” The Department of Health staffer replied, “Any assistance you are able to provide is very much appreciated.”
Cuomo released a statement about the shipment on July 10, which said in part,
We 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.
However, in a press conference on Saturday, DeSantis did not mention New York’s assistance. Instead, he praised Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for securing Remdesivir for Florida.
On July 12, DeSantis spokesperson Helen Ferre told CNN,
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.