As a presidential candidate today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claims his COVID-19 strategy is one of his greatest accomplishments.
But a deep dive by the New York Times into the data on deaths, hospitalizations and vaccination rates in the Sunshine State shows DeSantis’ approach actually worsened Florida’s death toll.
Early on, DeSantis was a champion of the COVID vaccine as it was made available for seniors. But as it became available for younger Americans – and conservatives were making known their disapproval of the shots – DeSantis backed off. And that led to serious consequences.
Free article. Ron DeSantis's incompetent covid policies killed thousands of Floridians unnecessarily. https://t.co/VOh2gBWcZb
— Bruce Bartlett (@BruceBartlett) July 22, 2023
From the New York Times:
While Florida was an early leader in the share of over-65 residents who were vaccinated, it had fallen to the middle of the pack by the end of July 2021. When it came to younger residents, Florida lagged behind the national average in every age group.
That left the state particularly vulnerable when the Delta variant hit that month. Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age, than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave, according to the Times analysis.
With less than 7 percent of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14 percent of deaths between the start of July and the end of October.
Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that “our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,” a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.
Read the full article for free here.
In September of 2020, DeSantis bragged of lifting ALL coronavirus precautions for restaurants and other businesses which likely contributed to the spread of the disease.
“These were preventable deaths,” “It breaks my heart thinking that things could have turned out differently if people embraced vaccines instead of this anti-vax stuff.” – Dr Rivkees, former Florida Surgeon General. https://t.co/L30LanJlRl
— Florida House Democrats (@FLHouseDems) July 22, 2023
“If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from Covid is effectively zero.”
– Ron DeSantis, before he cynically and cravenly capitulated to the loony, anti-science, anti-vax GOP base. https://t.co/SHOlqP3QRu
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) July 22, 2023