Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is determined to declare the novel coronavirus pandemic over, even as his state this week shattered its own records for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
Bloomberg reports that DeSantis's refusal to re-declare a state of emergency over the pandemic is leaving Florida hospitals scrambling to secure enough oxygen to treat COVID patients who are struggling to breathe.
Essentially, unless DeSantis declares a state of emergency, then there are limits to how long medical support transport drivers can be on the road.
Because hospitals are now getting flooded with COVID-19 patients, this means that there simply are not enough drivers who have enough time to deliver the needed oxygen supplies.
Soumi Saha, vice president of advocacy for hospital supply purchasing group Premier Inc., said that waiving limits on transportation restrictions is the single best way to get oxygen supplies where they're needed.
"Hospitals are fighting with a hand tied behind their back and don't have the same chance that they did when states had the public health emergencies declared," she explained to Bloomberg.
DeSantis has been lashing out in recent days as criticism has mounted of his refusal to do more to fight the pandemic. On Tuesday he accused President Joe Biden of "singling out" his state for its surge in COVID infections, which he baselessly blamed on infected migrants entering the country.