Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday lamented that Floridians are not receiving their COVID-19 test results fast enough as the state continues experiencing mass surges in coronavirus cases.
During a news conference at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital on Monday, DeSantis conceded that “there’s a need for faster results.”
“When people go through, a lot of times they’re not getting their results back for seven days,” DeSantis said. “Obviously we want to improve that.”
DeSantis added that Florida plans to implement “symptomatic” lanes at drive-through testing sites for those in South Florida who potentially contracted the coronavirus to get more rapid tests.
DeSantis has come under scrutiny for his aggressive approach to reopening in the spring as COVID-19 cases in the state increase at an alarming rate. On Sunday, Florida shattered the national record for single-day increases by hitting 15,300 new confirmed cases.
Last week, the Florida governor failed to deliver his promise to report daily hospitalization data for all of the state’s 67 counties.
Late last month, DeSantis insisted that he has no plans to reinstate coronavirus-related restrictions or close businesses despite the recent surge. His remarks on Florida “not going back” came a week after he ordered the closure of bars, pubs and nightclubs that he previously allowed to reopen due to widespread violations of social distancing requirements.
DeSantis’ latest remarks come as the Trump administration continues to blame the surge of coronavirus cases nationwide on increased testing. President Trump bragged to attendees at his Tulsa campaign rally last month that he asked administration officials to “slow the testing down, please.” Trump doubled down on his assertion soon after by telling reporters that “I don’t kid” when pressed on his remarks at the Tulsa rally.
A few days after Trump’s Tulsa rally, TPM first reported that the federal government was planning to roll back its support of testing sites in five states. The administration reversed course a few days after TPM’s report sparked bipartisan outrage.