The governor was contacted on his personally mobile phone with pleas for help that went to voicemail, four times. Governor Rick Scott had deleted the voicemails. 11 people from the affected nursing home died as a result of the air conditioning being downed by Hurricane Irma and from Scott's alleged lack of action. A local news outlet requested that copies of voicemails sent to Scott be availed to them and the governor's office said that they were deleted, and their explanation was that the voicemails were only deleted after the information had been taken down by staff and directed to the relevant agencies for action. That's a pretty straightforward passing of the buck, eh?
No less than eleven patients at the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills, Florida have died since Irma tore through South Florida. The hurricane reportedly downed an electrical transformer that was crucial to the facility's operation of their air conditioning.
Without air conditioning the temperatures in the nursing home reached sweltering highs. Florida law says that at no time should facilities exceed 81 degrees fahrenheit. Doctors at a local hospital said that many of the patients who were brought in and subsequently died had body temperatures ranging from a very deadly 107-109 degrees.
Officials at the nursing home assert that they had left numerous messages on the governor's voicemail asking for assistance in getting the air conditioner issue fixed. The governor had given his personal phone number out to officials of hospital emergency rooms and nursing homes prior to Irma hitting with the promise of ensuring their needs get met to save lives.
In a shocking "we don't care" kind of statement, Scott's office had the gaul to shift the blame on the nursing home saying that the fact remains that the nursing home could have called emergency services at any time by simply dialing 9-1-1, or even evacuate their patients to a hospital that is across the street.
While these might be valid arguments, they are quite off-color and insensitive ways to wash their hands of their own culpability. The governor gave out his cell phone number to the nursing homes to ensure his office could assist in saving lives, they deleted the voicemails, no other agencies responded, and 11 people died as a direct result of the governor and his staff not acting on what they told others to rely on.
The nursing home is now in a battle with the state who is trying to have it shut down due to this deadly incident.
An employee from the power company came and fixed the transformer. It took a mere 15 minutes.
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