Hurricane Irma: Democrats criticize Scott on nursing home deaths; he pushes back hard

Republican Gov. Rick Scott, left, is expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year. (Photos by George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

With Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year, both Nelson and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have attempted to link Scott to last week’s multiple deaths at a Broward County nursing home that lost air conditioning after Hurricane Irma.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. (John Pacenti/The Palm Beach Post)

Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills managers called Scott’s personal cell phone four times after the AC went out last week. Each call was returned by state officials, said Scott’s office, which said that in none of the conversations did nursing home administrators indicate patients were in danger.

Eight seniors died last Wednesday and a ninth passed away this week.

Nelson, in a Senate floor speech Monday, mentioned the nursing home deaths and “all the phone calls that had been made that were not answered, both to the government as well as to the power company.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Tuesday accused Scott of a “failure to respond” to requests for help from the nursing home’s administrators.

Said Scott: “No amount of finger pointing by the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Facility and Larkin Community Hospital Behavioral Health Services will hide the fact that this healthcare facility failed to do their basic duty to protect life. This facility is failing to take responsibility for the fact that they delayed calling 911 and made the decision to not evacuate their patients to one of the largest hospitals in Florida, which is directly across the street.”

Click here to read more, including timelines released by the nursing home and Scott’s office.

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