Florida Gov. DeSantis Let One Million COVID Tests Expire In Warehouse

In a press conference Thursday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis admitted that state officials allowed around one million unused COVID-19 tests to sit in a warehouse and expire.

The head of Florida’s Department of Emergency Management, Kevin Guthries, said, “We had between 800k and a million Abbott test kits in our warehouse that did expire.”

Thursday’s revelation follows allegations by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on December 30 that the governor was stockpiling tests that were soon expiring. An allegation that the Governor’s office called “bizarre” on Wednesday.

DeSantis said he’s asking the federal government to extend the expiration date on these newly-discovered tests, and they are awaiting an answer.

“We actually wanted to send a bunch of those [tests] to long-term care facilities at the beginning when we got them,” DeSantis said.

He went on to claim facilities didn’t have adequate staff on hand to accept them.

Fried, who is running against DeSantis in the upcoming election, released a statement through her communications team on December 30 that implied the DeSantis administration was storing up tests amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

“It’s come to my attention that Governor DeSantis’ Department of Health has a significant number of COVID-19 tests stockpiled that are set to expire imminently,” Fried wrote in the statement.

“Given the Governor’s lack of transparency throughout this pandemic, there’s no known public information about these tests or how soon they expire,” Fried continued. “With omicron infections exploding throughout Florida, I beg of him to release these tests immediately to local counties and cities, and to stand up state-sponsored testing sites. To let these tests expire while Floridians anxiously wait for hours in testing lines is negligent at best, and heartless at worst.”

Fried held a press conference Thursday after DeSantis confirmed the claims about the expired tests.

“So while families all over the state of Florida were waiting in line 4, 5 hours taken away from their vacation, families holidays and while the governor was sitting on these tests,” Fried said on Thursday.

“A million tests that should have gone out to nursing homes, state-run facilities that have not been opened up. There are no testing sites statewide run testing sites in our state,” said Fried.

“The question is, was this intentional or a complete derelict of his responsibilities? People of our state and people should be outraged,” Fried stated.

“I’m sorry, he’s the governor of the state of Florida. The buck stops with you,” Fried concluded.

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