Lawmaker Takes Heat Over Nursing Home Remarks

posted by Rick Flagg -

A state lawmaker came under fire for saying the people who died at a Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma were going to die anyway because they were so old. 

Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley of Ocala is a funeral home director and has never shied away from controversy, but his remarks about fatalities at the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills raised more than a few eyebrows.

"We need to face the reality that some of these are naturally-occurring deaths, and the more the time clicks off, the more of them there will be till eventually every one that was in that nursing home will die, okay?" he said. "But we don't need to attribute all those to the storm and bad policy."

Fellow lawmakers were stunned by those remarks. 

The Democratic Leader in the Florida Senate says Baxley should be ashamed and he's demanding an apology on behalf of the victims' families.

That apology was forthcoming, with Baxley issuing a long statement detailing his regret over his remarks. Baxley further stated that his comments were never meant to be dismissive of the situation nor of Florida's seniors.

The Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center lost power during Hurricane Irma, leaving residents in sweltering conditions. 

So far, 14 people who were residents of the home have died in the aftermath of Irma.

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