Published September 23, 2017
The help-seeking voicemails from a nursing home where 11 people died during Hurricane Irma have been deleted from Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s cell phone, according to a report.
CBS4 in Miami reported Friday that it requested copies of the voicemails but the governor’s office said they had been deleted.
“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,” a spokeswoman told the outlet.
At least 11 patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have died since Irma hit South Florida. The fierce storm knocked out a transformer that powered the home's air conditioner.
Under state law, the temperature was not supposed to exceed 81 degrees. The state said some of the deceased had body temperatures between 107 and 109 degrees.
Four voicemails were left on Scott’s phone, according to the report.
Natasha Anderson, an official at the nursing home, said she left messages asking for help to get the air conditioner back on. Scott had given his number out to emergency, hospital and nursing home officials ahead of the storm.
“None of this changes the fact that this facility chose not to call 911 or evacuate their patients to the hospital across the street to save lives,” a spokeswoman for Scott told the outlet.
Scott directed the Agency for Health Care Administration to terminate the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as a Medicaid provider. The program provides health care for low-income individuals and families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.