Florida Official Admits State Let 1M Test Kits Expire

Yahoo News reports:

A Florida official admitted Thursday that as many as 1 million COVID-19 test kits expired in a state warehouse over the last few days of December while coronavirus cases were skyrocketing and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said nothing about the health crisis.

Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, made the startling revelation about the Abbott Laboratories rapid test kits in response to a reporter’s question at a Palm Beach press conference where DeSantis was touting the state’s acquisition of an additional 1 million tests.

Guthrie claimed at the press conference that there was simply no demand for the tests that expired — despite massively long lines of Floridians waiting for tests that were available elsewhere, and despite drugstores being sold out of COVID tests.

Politico reports:

DeSantis on Friday defended his administration’s decision to allow up to one million Covid-19 rapid test kits to expire, a move that comes as he is facing increasing criticism from Democrats over his handling of the Omicron surge.

DeSantis has argued that the stockpile resulted from a lack of demand in the later part of 2021 and blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for not granting extensions to keep the tests eligible — something it did in September for three months.

In the days before Thursday’s admission, DeSantis had focused on erasing the “testing psychology,” essentially arguing against the practice that all individuals should get tests regardless of whether they show Covid-related symptoms while railing against the federal government for not providing tests.