Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has obtained vital reward for his dealing with of the COVID pandemic, however the state is now dealing with a surge in hospitalizations and is main the nation in instances of the virus, recording 73,181 infections over the previous week, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Florida accounted for one in 5 new COVID infections within the U.S. within the week of July 16 to 22. That represents 340. 7 instances per 100,000 individuals within the Sunshine State.
The variety of hospitalizations from the illness reached 6,369 on July 24, in line with information dashboard from University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. That’s the biggest variety of hospitalizations from COVID in Florida since February.
DeSantis, a Republican, received reward from conservatives who lauded his refusal to impose COVID restrictions much like different states.
The governor did not impose a statewide masks mandate, although mask-wearing was advisable, and on May 3 he issued an order suspending all COVID-related native guidelines on companies and people.
While DeSantis has repeatedly inspired vaccinations, he is additionally banned companies from requiring individuals to point out proof of vaccination, suggesting this might discriminate in opposition to individuals who have not taken the vaccine for medical or spiritual causes.
DeSantis efficiently sued the CDC to stop the company imposing COVID restrictions on cruise ships within the state and stored Florida’s financial system and colleges extra open than in states with harder restrictions.
The governor’s strategy to the pandemic boosted his repute amongst Republicans at a time when public well being measures like mask-wearing and lockdowns had been contentious points.
His standing as a possible contender for the 2024 presidential nomination was additionally improved by his stance on pandemic restrictions, with bookmakers and a few within the GOP score his probabilities on the White House extremely if former President Donald Trump chooses to not run once more.
Florida appeared to keep away from the worst of the pandemic, however a latest surge in instances, due partially to the extremely transmissible Delta variant, has positioned a brand new highlight on DeSantis’ strategy.
On Thursday, a gaggle of 405 Florida physicians criticized DeSantis’ push to reopen the state’s financial system and his criticisms of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Bernard Ashby, a heart specialist based mostly in Miami and head of the Florida chapter of the Committee to Protect Health Care, instructed CBS Miami: “While hospitals in our state were filling up, DeSantis was shouting about “Freedom over Faucism.”
“As a doctor and a Floridian, I’m frankly offended and ashamed. You know the Florida-man moniker sadly holds true on this explicit circumstance,” Ashby said.
DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw told The News Service of Florida that the physicians were poorly informed and said the governor “has spoken positively of the vaccines in public remarks almost 100 occasions this 12 months.”
“He’s pleased with the profitable rollout and the Seniors First technique, which suggests 85 % of our most weak inhabitants is vaccinated, and hundreds of lives saved. COVID instances, hospitalizations and particularly deaths are down considerably in comparison with this time final 12 months,” Pushaw said.
Cases May Fall in August
Last week, DeSantis said of the surge: “It’s a seasonal virus and that is the seasonal sample it follows within the Sun Belt states.” He added that he believes the number of cases will fall in August.
At a press conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Wednesday, DeSantis appeared to criticize jurisdictions that imposed mask-wearing requirements on vaccinated people.
“I get a bit bit pissed off once I see a few of these jurisdictions saying, even for those who’re wholesome and vaccinated you will need to put on a masks as a result of we’re seeing elevated instances,” DeSantis said.
“Understand what that message is sending to individuals who aren’t vaccinated. It’s telling them that the vaccines do not work,” he said.
DeSantis also appeared to rule out reconsidering his order that children returning to schools don’t need to wear masks.
“We want our children to have the ability to be youngsters,” DeSantis said on July 22. “We want them to have the ability to breathe. It’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it.”
Newsweek has asked Governor Ron DeSantis’ office for comment.