Gov. Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure patients are safe.
"I am demanding answers", he tweeted.
Exactly how the deaths happened was under investigation, with Sanchez saying authorities have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.
Many who work in nursing homes are dedicated, skilled professionals. "They were trying to get them all together so they could be able to breathe".
In a Naples mobile home park, not far from where then-Hurricane Irma made its second landfall in Florida, Trump shook hands with residents, quizzed people about how they were faring and joined volunteers serving lunch.
The death toll from Irma stood at 81 on Thursday, including 38 in the United States, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands accounting for more than half of the fatalities. North Carolina reported its first Irma-related death on Friday after a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and two more people died in Florida from the unsafe fumes, including a woman in Palm Beach County. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees kicked back and cut his carotid artery.
Facing a situation that was out of control, doctors and fire officials ultimately chose to transfer all the patients to the hospital, where dozens were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat exhaustion, officials said.
Calls to the owner and other officials at the Hollywood home were not immediately returned, but the facility's administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement that it was "cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome". They do not sweat as much and are more likely to have medical conditions that change how the body responds to heat.
The facility has had a spotty inspection record, earning a "below average" grade Medicare's nursing home rating system. The nursing home has a poor history of inspection results and is affiliated with a South Miami hospital with a troubled past of its own. As of 2016, Florida had about 680 nursing homes. It continued making calls on Monday and Tuesday, including to the electric utility. Utility officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored.
Meanwhile, the state made urgent efforts to protect its vulnerable elderly residents.
By the afternoon, five more had died.
"At this point, we're better off taking care of them where they are. And we're not leaving". "I'll be back here numerous times".
Almost half of Florida was engulfed by Irma, which left flooded streets, damaged homes and displaced residents in its wake.
A warrant has been signed to begin searching the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which is affiliated with Larkin Community Hospital, and a criminal investigation is underway. "We are there for you 100 percent", he said, adding, "this is a state that I know very well".
The president says in Fort Myers, Florida, that he hopes Scott "runs for the Senate".
Ellie Pina - a daughter of one of the nursing home patients - told CNN she was anxious something like this would happen and that she spent "the whole day" on Tuesday calling the power company to alert it about the life-threatening situation.
Paulburn Bogle, a member of the housekeeping staff, said the place had been hot but manageable the past few days.
Of the 141 patients who were evacuated, 70 were discharged from the hospital as of Thursday, city officials said.
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