ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Under former Gov. Rick Scott, the state of Florida refused $70 million in federal grants to fight HIV/AIDS, according to a new investigation by The Guardian.

The investigation revealed that the state had to return $54 million in unspent grants because Scott's administration didn't get legislative permission to use the money.

The investigation also revealed the Scott administration also blocked U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from getting another $16 million to address increasing HIV rates in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

In 2017, Florida saw the highest number of new HIV cases in the country with 4,783 cases, according to the CDC. During the period the Scott administration turned away federal funding, infections increased 11 percent, the report revealed.

A spokesman for Scott's office called The Guardian's reporting wrong.

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