Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday defended his decision to allow up to one million Covid-19 rapid test kits to expire, claiming that “no one really wanted them” and blamed President Joe Biden over his decision, Politico reports.
DeSantis, who is facing increasing criticism from Democrats over his handling of the Omicron surge, sought to explain why the state didn’t distribute the tests kits after Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie admitted during a Thursday press conference that the tests expired.
During his explanation, DeSantis argued that the stockpile resulted from a lack of demand and blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for not granting extensions to keep the tests eligible.
“[Division of Emergency Management] has been asking about that for many, many weeks anticipating that,” DeSantis said Friday according to Politico. “Basically, the way they [the federal government] do this is they always want to have enough tests if people need them, they send them down … the results of that is we had a stockpile, but no one really wanted them for many, many months.”
As noted by Politico, however, 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 attacking against the federal government for not providing tests.