Noting that the number of coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State was on the rise, on Monday, state Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to take a page from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s, D-NY, playbook and “follow New York’s lead and ease current restrictions on foreign graduates of medical schools already in Florida to aid in the state’s emergency response.”
Taddeo sent a letter to DeSantis and urged him to change the current policy.
“As the numbers of infected Floridians continues to skyrocket, our front-line medical professionals and medical facilities need more help,” Taddeo wrote DeSantis.
“Governor [Andrew] Cuomo, through multiple executive orders, has temporarily modified the rules and regulations to allow for more medical professionals to help against the COVID-19 crisis. One of Governor Cuomo’s executive orders includes a provision to temporarily allow graduates of foreign medical schools having at least one year of graduate medical education to provide patient care in hospitals.”
Taddeo’s office insisted “multiple trained medical professionals have been reaching out to her, offering their expertise to help in the spreading COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, but the licensing procedure has prevented their participation” and praised Cuomo’s efforts.
“Governor Cuomo’s order, by contrast, allows unlicensed graduates of foreign medical schools who have completed at least one year of graduate medical education to provide patient care in hospitals,” Taddeo’s office noted.
“Now is the time to let them help,” Taddeo wrote. “I strongly urge you to take immediate action to allow them to help during this crisis.”
The former chairwoman of the Miami Dade Democrats, Taddeo was former Gov. Charlie Crist’s running mate on the losing Democratic ticket against Gov. Rick Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Taddeo scored a win in 2017 when she flipped an open state Senate seat in a special election.