Governor Ron DeSantis admits the state stockpiled up to one million COVID test kits it maybe unusable.
Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie announced yesterday that between 800-thousand and one million test kits expired at the end of December while in a department warehouse.
Governor Ron DeSantis says there weren’t a lot of requests for the tests last year, and when the kits were nearing their expiration date.
The governor said he’s asking the federal government to extend the expiration date on these newly-discovered tests. They are awaiting an answer.
“We actually wanted to send a bunch of those [tests] to long-term care facilities at the beginning when we got them,” DeSantis said.
He went on to claim facilities didn’t have adequate staff on hand to accept them.
Thursday, the Governor also announced that another one million new test kits will be made available to seniors in Florida in the coming days.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also running for governor, recently accused the governor was stockpiling the out-dated tests and on Wednesday, the Governor’s office called that allegation “bizarre.”
“So while families all over the state of Florida were waiting in line 4, 5 hours taken away from their vacation, families holidays and while the governor was sitting on these tests,” Fried said on Thursday.
“A million tests that should have gone out to nursing homes, state run facilities that have not been opened up. There are no testing sites statewide run testing sites in our state,” said Fried.
“The question is was this intentional or a complete derelict of his responsibilities? People of our state and people should be outraged,” Fried stated.
“I’m sorry he’s the governor of the state of Florida. The buck stops with you” Fried concluded.
Also, Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a consumer alert yesterday about people trying to sell fake test kits.
She says before buying one, you should make sure the seller is from a well-established company, and you should beware of companies that insist on handing over your personal information.
Also, if you come across a possible scam, Moody says you can contact law enforcement or the AG’s office.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a COVID test kit in Palm Beach County, you can pick one up for free at one of the following locations (drive-thru only):
Jupiter Community Park (Friday Only)
3377 Church Street, Jupiter
7301 N. Haverhill Road, West Palm Beach
John Prince Park
2700 6th Avenue South, Lake Worth
1600 Poinciana Blvd, Royal Palm Beach
Glades Pioneer Park
866 State Road 715, Belle Glade
West Delray Regional Park
10875 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach
City of Boca Raton Administration Complex
6500 Congress Ave., Boca Raton
For more info on COVID-19 testing, visit the Palm Beach County COVID-19 website or contact the Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center at 1(866) 779-6121.