Florida requesting 300 ventilators amid COVID-19 spike, HHS says

Florida has requested 300 ventilators from the federal government in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to an HHS planning document obtained by ABC News

Florida made the request Aug. 6 to "replace expanded state stores," ABC reported. 

The ventilators were expected to be delivered Aug. 9, but it's unclear how they were allocated. 

When asked, Gov. Ron DeSantis told ABC he had not heard about the request. 

"I have not heard about that, so I have to check to see if that's true or not," he said. "I would honestly doubt that that's true, but I'll look. We have a lot of stuff that we stockpiled over the last year and a half through the department of emergency management. I have not had any requests across my desk. I haven't been notified of that."

CDC data shows that as of Aug. 9, Florida saw five consecutive days with more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases. But the Florida Department of Health disputed that data, tweeting that the three-day average was 18,795 as of Aug. 8.

Joshua Lenchus, DO, chief medical officer at Broward Health, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told ABC that the health system is close to 90 percent of its capacity, and that 96 percent of its COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. 

"The nurses, the physicians, they have passed burnout a long time ago," Dr. Lenchus told ABC.  "This is sheer exhaustion"

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