At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., led Florida Democrats in the U.S. House in sending a letter to state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees and Gov. Ron DeSantis “seeking information related to ensuring safe access to dialysis treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk that COVID-19 poses to Floridians with kidney disease.”
Wilson noted that 40,000 residents of the Sunshine State are battling renal disease, many of whom need weekly dialysis treatment and are at severe risk from coronavirus.
“Medically vulnerable Floridians, including those with kidney disease, are counting on Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health to step up and work with health-care providers so that they can continue to receive life-saving treatment,” Wilson said on Friday.
Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto and Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined Wilson in signing the letter.
“There have been reports that states are struggling to secure life-saving equipment and supplies like dialysis machines, ventilators and personal protective equipment,” they wrote. “We urge you to protect vulnerable Floridians with chronic kidney disease and those who may develop kidney problems resulting from COVID-19 by ensuring Florida has access to a sufficient stream of dialysis machines and related supplies.”
Wilson and the other representatives asked for “information about the rate of infections and deaths among people on dialysis, what is being done to track the availability of machines and supplies required for dialysis, and what steps Florida has taken to acquire more machines and fluid required to dialyze patients.”
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