Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) office said the state would begin to report daily hospitalization data for all of the state’s 67 counties as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies in the state, but the Republican governor has yet has yet to make good on that promise.
“Obviously not everything is presented in this report but just an unbelievable amount of data is available,” DeSantis said when pressed by reporters in a news conference on Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald.
The Sunshine State remains an outlier in reporting on the number of patients hospitalized on a given day, which becomes increasingly important information as hospitals face increasing strain and the virus looms large.
While the Agency for Health Care Administration reports daily hospital bed capacity and the state’s Department of Health keeps a tally of the total number of patients admitted to hospitals during the crisis, the number of patients actively in a hospital at a given time is not formally stated, The Herald reported.
“They have so much raw data on there,” DeSantis said, pointing to a report from the state’s Department of Health as he continued to dodge questions over when Florida officials would provide data on daily hospitalization rates in the state, which his office initially said would begin last week.
“People do the charts and the graphs and everything,” DeSantis said. He added that this information was “all available for folks” to use and draw from as they wished.
The Florida governor has made a habit of understating the alarming outbreak in his state, at times blaming increased testing for an abundance of positive cases and claiming that the trend for infection among younger people has meant fewer critical cases of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, there were 213,794 cases of the coronavirus in Florida, according to data from the Washington Post. The state has tallied a record number of cases over the past week, averaging 8,766 a day, The Post reported.
As the outbreak reaches a fever pitch and 52 intensive care units across more than a third of the state’s counties reached capacity by Tuesday, another 17 hospitals had also run out of regular beds, according to a data analysis by The Post.
DeSantis, meanwhile, made sweeping and unsupported claims at Tuesday’s press conference that the state’s caseload for the virus had “stabilized” and that there was “abundant capacity,” for those afflicted with COVID-19 to be treated for the virus.