Speaking to reporters last Thursday, DeSantis blatantly denied that New York was helping his state’s response to Covid-19, saying, “They don’t help us. ”
“I think someone contacted our office about the fans – we have 6,000 idling, so we don’t need them,” added the governor. “We are working with the federal government on part of the Remdesivir. ”
But a set of emails first reported by Politco and later reviewed by CNN shows that New York’s offer to send remdesivir to Florida was well received before DeSantis rejected the role of State in securing drug shipments.
A member of the New York governor’s office staff, Andrew Cuomo, emailed a DeSantis staff member on Wednesday with the subject “Florida needs Remdesivir?” “
Cuomo touted the aid in a statement on Friday, saying New York “will deploy Remdesivir to help Florida care for patients while waiting for additional supplies from the federal government.”
“We will stand by our fellow Americans every step of the way as our nation fights COVID-19 together. ”
DeSantis, however, did not mention Cuomo at a press conference on Saturday, instead congratulating Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar for their help in securing the remdesivir for Florida.
DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre told CNN on Sunday: “It’s not uncommon for state health departments to communicate with each other, especially during a pandemic. New York contacted Florida and the Department of Health responded appropriately. ”
Florida has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases in recent weeks. The state reported 15,299 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, the highest number of new cases reported in a single day by a state since the start of the pandemic. The test positivity rate in Florida currently stands at 19.60%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In the past few weeks, the state has broken several single-day high records in new cases and reported 10,360 new infections on Saturday. About 40 hospitals across the state do not have intensive care beds available and more than 7,000 patients are hospitalized statewide with the virus, state data revealed on Saturday.
Remdesivir, the only drug known to work against Covid-19, has been in high demand in recent weeks as the pandemic raged.
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for the drug, an intravenous antiviral drug studied to treat Ebola but now used in Covid-19 hospital patients. Although not a successful drug, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that it reduces hospital stay by four days.
Christina Maxouris, Holly Yan, Elizabeth Cohen and Arman Azad of CNN contributed to this report.