Florida has thousands of empty hospital beds, DeSantis says

Florida has thousands of empty hospital beds, DeSantis says

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that the state has thousands of empty hospital beds available after the state was hit with fewer coronavirus cases than expected.

“We have, from the very beginning, been focusing on making sure that our health care system did not get overwhelmed,” DeSantis said during a press conference.

He added: “Not only has our system not been overwhelmed. We actually have increased the number of available beds.”

THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, STATE-BY-STATE

DeSantis said that 465,000 people were expected to be hospitalized with COVIS-19, but the state has so far seen just under 26,000 cases overall with 764 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We expanded capacity by thousands of beds, and yet, every single one of those beds sits empty,” he said.

DeSantis has been one of the leading governors pushing to reopen his state amid the coronavirus pandemic. He was also one of the last to issue a stay-at-home order – doing so on April 1.

But now DeSantis says his state “has flattened the curve” without “draconian orders” like other states.

“Florida has flattened the curve,” DeSantis said. “People have done a great job and I think we understand that you can do both, you can continue to fight COVID-19, but also get people back to work and have society function again.”

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“I never did draconian orders here like you see in some of these other states where dad would get arrested or get cited for taking his daughter to the park. That doesn’t work. We’ve never done that. We’ve been very, I think, reasonable with the people of Florida and they’ve responded,” he continued.

On Monday, DeSantis appointed some of Florida’s most powerful political leaders and business executives to a committee that will map out the state’s reopening from the coronavirus shutdown.

Fox News Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.

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