Coronavirus 'doomsday scenarios' haven't come to pass in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis says

Governor says state has plenty of ventilators, available ICU beds
Posted at 9:50 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 13:52:21-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an optimistic outlook Monday in the battle against the coronavirus in Florida.

"We were told just six weeks ago that all the hospitals would be overrun, that people wouldn't be able to get care. .... People were understandably very, very scared," DeSantis said during a news conference at Tampa General Hospital.

DeSantis said that isn't the case in Florida.

"In the state of Florida right now, we have 6,408 ventilators that are just simply sitting idle," the governor said.

He said the total patients on ventilators were about 400 as of Sunday night.

"A lot of those doomsday scenarios have just simply not come to pass," DeSantis said.

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DeSantis said about 60 percent of all the cases are in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

The governor pointed out that even in Miami-Dade County, which has the most confirmed cases in the state, 45% of the adult intensive care unit beds are available.

"Right now, our capacity exceeds the demand," DeSantis said of Florida's numbers.

DeSantis said the ratio in South Florida is "pretty aggressive" because the outbreak was more prevalent there.

"The demand definitely has changed," he said.

DeSantis said Florida "satisfies the gating criteria" for reopening, but added it will be done methodically and with input from the various regions.

"We're going to work with Miami and Broward and Palm Beach a little bit differently than the panhandle or then Jacksonville, and the outbreaks have been very different in those areas," he said.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 32,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including more than 1,000 deaths.