MIAMI — Florida is ramping up its efforts to make sure hospitals across the state are well prepared to handle a surge of coronavirus patients, Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday.
"We have all guns blazing here," DeSantis said during a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. "We're gonna continue to be providing support statewide, but particularly here in South Florida where we see the epidemic is the most significant."
The governor said the state received and distributed a new supply of the antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitals across Florida on Saturday, roughly one week earlier than originally planned.
Back in May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of remdesivir, an experimental drug that appears to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster.
DeSantis said the state is sending 100 medical personnel to the Jackson Health System in Miami and another 100 to the Tampa area to help treat both coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients.
In addition, 2,000 health care workers are being sent to long-term care facilities around Florida.
"Personnel is probably the number one thing that I have heard from our hospitals and our medical community, and so we're delivering," DeSantis said.
Just seconds into the news conference, a protester disrupted the governor's address and was quickly removed from the room.
"You are doing nothing," the protester shouted. "You are misleading the public! Over 4,000 people have died!"
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health on Monday, there are 282,435 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 12,624 cases from the day before.