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The president said his administration is "trying to keep them as happy as we can under the circumstances". These homes are air conditioned, unlike what we saw in France in 2003 (a situation that's since been corrected).

The city first "became [aware] a crisis was unfolding at the facility after multiple calls in the early morning hours" Wednesday, city spokesperson Raelin Storey said this morning.

They began at 5:34 p.m. on Monday, with the first call going to the number Governor Scott was publicizing throughout the week.

Police were checking on more than 40 other nursing facilities in Hollywood, Kate Stein of member station WLRN tells NPR's Newscast unit.

A third call later came in as well, police said.

But we do know that all of those residents rescued from the heat Wednesday morning have survived thus far. After the second call, fire officials called the state Department of Children and Families to report concerns about the facility.

Three patients were found dead in the facility and others were found there "in need of immediate transport", officials said.

"So it begs the question, what makes something a high priority?"

Nursing homes in Florida are required by state and federal law to file an emergency plan that includes evacuation plans for residents.

Near Orlando, firefighters helped relocate 122 people late Wednesday from two assisted-living centers that had been without power since Hurricane Irma hit.

Not so, according to Defede.

And I kept calling Florida Power & Light.

Four more patients died at or en route to hospital and a fifth was later identified as having died the night before, officials said. "This year we took the proper steps of assigning utility workers as direct points of contact with nursing homes and other urgent care facilities, and we prioritized their power restoration during Irma".

Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak said after receiving some of the bodies for autopsies that the victims had been in poor health, and "it's going to be tough to tell how much was the heat and how much of it was they were sick already".

Florida Power & Light said it had provided power to some parts of the Hollywood nursing home but that the facility was not on a county top tier list for emergency power restoration. Rick Scott has directed Florida's agency for healthcare administration to remove the rehabilitation center from the Medicaid program. And so of course ultimately eight people have died. The statement also revealed that 150 of the 700 facilities in the state of Florida still are not operating with full power services. Several elderly residents were in critical condition with respiratory problems, the chief said.

The building has since been cordoned off and police and state investigators have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of residents, whose ages range from 71 to 99.

Defede's report spurred a swift response from Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor.

The president also used the opportunity to encourage Scott to run for the Senate.