The deaths of eight people at a Florida nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma have horrified the nation, but now it is Florida Gov. Rick Scott who is under fire after his office revealed that the facility called him four times begging for help that never came.
According to CBS Miami, the nursing home left four voicemails in the span of 36 hours. The messages were all left before anyone had died. The office reportedly passed them off to the “appropriate agency” and subsequently deleted voicemails.
The voicemails were not retained because the information from each voicemail was collected by the governor’s staff and given to the proper agency for handling,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power as a result of Irma’s wrath, which also meant that they lost air conditioning. When all was said and done, eight residents of the nursing home had died from the heat. A vice president at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills said that in their calls to Gov. Scott, they pleaded for “immediate assistance.”
Scott’s office insisted last week that they had done their duty by referring the nursing homes requests to other agencies and swore that no one had ever told them that the residents of the nursing home were in immediate danger.
“Every call made to the governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned,” Scott’s spokesman said last week.
Florida’s Department of Health has made up their minds that the blame for these eight deaths lies with no one other than the nursing home itself.
“Let’s be clear – this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities,” DOH spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said. “It is 100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients.”