Governor Ron DeSantis has outraged countless citizens across the state of Florida. From the balmy shores of Miami to the panhandle, Floridians are upset with their governor after finding out that he allowed 1 million COVID tests to expire.
The story has also sparked a larger debate over why he hasn’t focused on getting people vaccinated, a debate that is getting more heated by the day. Here’s what you need to know about why so many tests were left to expire and what became of them afterward.
1 Million COVID Tests Left Unused Until They Expired
Everyone knows the importance of getting tested whenever feeling COVID symptoms or being exposed to someone with COVID. While the best thing you can do for yourself and the people around you is to get vaccinated, COVID tests are still an important component in the continuous fight against the dreaded disease.
The more people that get tested, the easier it is to manage the spread of COVID and prevent it from infecting other people. The COVID tests that were left unused until they expired were produced by Abbott Laboratories.
For his part, Governor DeSantis claimed that the tests expired due to a lack of demand for testing from September to November. It should be noted that the lack of demand that Mr. DeSantis spoke of was not especially evident to the throngs of people that stood in line waiting for a COVID test.
It’s About More Than Expired Testing Kits
When some people hear about people in Florida being so outraged over expired COVID tests, they don’t always grasp the seriousness of the situation. Imagine waiting in line for hours and being told that the long wait time was due to a lack of COVID test kits only to find out that nearly a million of those kits were left sitting in a stockpile. That’s the kind of outrage that Floridians are feeling right now.
All of those hours waiting in line were wasted because you never should have had to wait that long in the first place. The test kits were available, they just weren’t used. While you were stuck waiting in line, a million test kits were sitting in a warehouse.
The Expired Tests Are Being Distributed to Senior Citizens Throughout the State
If you’re worried about all of those COVID tests being wasted, you’ll be glad to hear that they are now being distributed to seniors. While expired, the COVID tests in question can still be of some use. By distributing them to the elderly, seniors will have much easier access to testing.
As more seniors gain access to COVID tests, they will benefit from the extra safety and assurance. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to succumbing to diseases like COVID-19 which is why it’s so important for them to have access to COVID tests.
Mr. DeSantis believes that it would be wiser to facilitate COVID testing for older folks rather than their younger counterparts as he does not see a reason for young people to get tested as frequently.
Although the COVID test kits had been left to expire, they were given an extension by the FDA. The FDA recently issued an extension for the stockpile of COVID tests that will make them viable for use into March.
Expired COVID Tests Fuel the Fires of the Gubernatorial Election
While countless people across the state of Florida are angered by the fact that nearly a million COVID tests were left to expire, none have been as outspoken about the incident as gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Fried.
Although lashing out at Mr. DeSantis over the massive stockpile of expired COVID tests can benefit her campaign, it’s a sentiment that many Floridians can appreciate. No one wants to wait in line for a long period of time unnecessarily. The fact that so many people were forced to wait so long just to get a COVID test while nearly a million kits were sitting in a warehouse should be a wake-up call.
Too Close for Comfort
Most of the COVID test kits from the stockpile should be used up by March, however, the prospect of losing them all was too close for comfort. What if an extension was not approved y the FDA? Would they all have gone to waste? Perhaps, however, they never should have been allowed to get that close to their expiration dates, to begin with.
There is something very wrong with the fact that so many people had to wait in line while being told that there was a shortage of COVID test kits when a million of those kits went untouched. This never should have happened and there’ no excuse for it.
There was never a lack of demand, the demand was actually quite strong. While the demand for testing was strong, the willingness to provide test kits was weak. It’s unclear how long Floridians will remain outraged over the recent negligence in terms of allowing so many COVID tests to expire. Whether distributing the expired COVID tests to the elderly rather than distributing them more evenly was a wise decision or not remains to be seen.
The Democratic Party made a point of scolding Mr. DeSantis as the public anger has grown after recent events. The outrage was exasperated as his administration initially attempted to deny the allegations of a million COVID tests being left to expire. The danger of COVID affects us all which is why we must all do our part. In other words, don’t just get tested, get vaccinated!
The Conclusion? Get Vaccinated!
If there’s one thing that we can all learn from the debacle surrounding the 1 million test kits that were left to expire it’s that we should all get vaccinated. More people getting vaccinated means less dependence on test kits.
If you want everything to go back to normal, then speed things along by getting your vaccination. We’re all in this together, and while life might never go back to normal completely, we can have the next best thing by doing the right thing and getting vaccinated.