TAMPA, Fla. - Armed with charts he hoped would quiet the debate, the governor insisted those not paid had claims legitimately thrown out.
"Some have not submitted all the information, some were denied because they were getting wages in another state," said the governor, "so there were a whole bunch of different reasons why."
Here's the governor's math:
- There were just over 2,000,000 total claims.
- About 400,000 thousand were duplicates, had errors, or were incomplete.
Of the remaining 1.6 million, about 400,000 were ineligible and another 200,000 are still being processed.
That left 999,643 eligible claims, of which he says 975,656 have been sent money.
"People are paid in the order they are there," said DeSantis. "So if there is somebody from March who has gone through, submitted it all, done, they will have gotten paid by now. If you haven't there is some issue that is holding it up."
But Democrats say it's likely the system - which the governor says was poorly designed under fmr. Gov. Rick Scott - accidentally rejected legitimate claims.
That within the 600,000 who are in process or were deemed ineligible are those who should have been paid.
"People are not getting answers. They do not know what to do," said State Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach). "The call centers have been a disaster. We know that the people working there have not been trained, don't know what to do. The supervisors have not been trained."
The governor insists the system is improving with time, that the backlog of a historic number of claims has cleared and that those applying right now are being paid within ten days.
"There are still issues with this," said DeSantis. "As you work on that engine, and you are going around the track at Daytona, you still have somewhat of a jalopy."
The governor said more money has been paid out during this crisis than during the previous five years combined.