He argued on Wednesday that the latest spike is all a part of the seasonal fluctuations in the virus, whilst he urged Floridians to get vaccinated. He touted information that reveals if you’re vaccinated, your probability of turning into severely unwell or dying is “effectively zero.” And his spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, famous that DeSantis has been arguing for months that he “anticipated cases rising in Florida and other southern states this summer, as there was a seasonal increase last summer in these states.”

“It’s a seasonal virus and this is the seasonal pattern it follows in the Sun Belt states,” DeSantis stated earlier this week, earlier than including that he believes the cases will drop in August.

This surge — spurred by the extra transmissible Delta variant that has well being officers throughout the nation frightened — is the newest chapter in the Florida governor’s struggle towards the virus, one which has been each heralded and condemned as charges in the state have regularly shifted. Early in the pandemic, regardless of DeSantis’ choice to shutter the state later than others and reopen sooner, it appeared that Florida had prevented the worst of the virus. But surges in summer time 2020 and once more now have put the governor’s argument that his management efficiently guided the state by means of the pandemic in an uncovered place.

Florida, like many states throughout the nation, has seen Covid-19 cases rising in latest weeks. According to a NCS evaluation of Johns Hopkins University information, Florida is averaging 6,492 cases per day, a determine that has practically doubled in a single week and quadrupled in a month. By this measure, Florida tops California, with a present every day common of 4,806 cases, and Texas, with a present every day common of 4,802.

Between July 15 and July 21, Florida has 45,449 new cases of coronavirus, by far the most in the nation.

DeSantis has inspired vaccines in his push to curb the pandemic — “If you are vaccinated, though, the number of people that end up hospitalized after is almost zero. It’s incredibly, incredibly low,” he stated this week — however he has absolutely dominated out one other lockdown in the state, decried any form of vaccine passport program and lambasted state jurisdictions which might be beginning to inform vaccinated individuals to proceed to put on masks.

“I get a little bit frustrated when I see some of these jurisdictions saying, even if you’re healthy and vaccinated you must wear a mask because we’re seeing increased cases,” DeSantis stated Wednesday throughout a press convention in St. Petersburg. “Understand what that message is sending to people who aren’t vaccinated. It’s telling them that the vaccines don’t work.”

Even whereas DeSantis is pushing vaccines and touting his Covid response, his political web site is seizing on anti-science sentiment aimed toward specialists like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a prime adviser to President Joe Biden. Fauci has drawn the ire of Republicans throughout the nation, together with from former President Donald Trump.

“Don’t Fauci My Florida,” reads a T-shirt and koozie on the market on the governor’s marketing campaign web site. Another set of koozies encompasses a quote from DeSantis: “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?”

Helen Aguirre Ferre, government director of the Republican Party of Florida, dismissed the objects being bought as nothing greater than a “great opportunity to have some lighthearted fun and give his supporters a chance to feel even more connected with his message of keeping Florida free” and stood by the Fauci criticism. She additionally claimed that the web site wasn’t DeSantis’ official marketing campaign web site as a result of DeSantis has but to file his reelection paperwork.

The governor’s response, together with merchandise bought by his marketing campaign, have led Democrats to pounce on the newest surge, arguing it reveals DeSantis’ failed management on the difficulty.

“We have a governor who has not taken Covid seriously from the very beginning. You know, he is essentially right now treating it like a joke. He’s got campaign merchandise on his website saying ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida.’ And we’ve had nearly 40,000 Floridians die of Covid,” Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz instructed NCS this week. “And look, I would rather see us ‘Fauci our Florida’ than have people go through death by DeSantis.”

And Brad Woodhouse, head of outdoor group Protect Our Care, stated DeSantis “continues to reject commonsense measures to slow the spread of the virus” and he “should be focused on supporting the overwhelmed hospitals in his state.”

DeSantis’ response comes as governors nationwide attempt to grapple with the uptick in cases. In Arkansas, the place cases have been rising and solely 36% of individuals are absolutely vaccinated, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has begun assembly straight with individuals and urging them to get vaccinated. And some governors, like West Virginia’s Jim Justice, have held weeks of lotteries for individuals who get vaccinated. Covid charges in the state stay low, however solely 39% of West Virginians are absolutely vaccinated.

“If you’re not vaccinated,” Justice said throughout a latest state Covid briefing, “you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”
NCS reported on Tuesday that employees at a big hospital in Jacksonville believed that they had already seen the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, however that cases of Covid at the hospital have doubled since final week and officers are frightened they’re “days away from running at capacity and really having significant staffing issues.”

“We could be an entire hospital full of Covid in a matter of a month if things don’t begin to slow down or vaccinations don’t increase,” stated Chad Neilsen, the director of an infection prevention at the hospital. Neilsen added that 90% of Covid sufferers at the hospital aren’t vaccinated.

This was echoed on Wednesday by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican, who stated the finest “path to moving beyond the surge is increasing our percentage of vaccinations.”

“The math is clear, vaccines work,” Curry stated. “Restrictions to our economy and personal freedoms are not the answer.”

Coronavirus cases stay far decrease than they had been months in the past. But the unfold of the Delta variant has well being specialists frightened, main White House officers to warn that these not vaccinated are at critical danger from variants. The US is now averaging 34,056 new Covid-19 cases every day, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University. That’s a 55% enhance over final week.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky stated final week. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage, because unvaccinated people are at risk.”

Hanging over all of this, together with the newest surge in Florida, is DeSantis’ political aspirations.

The governor, who narrowly received his first time period in 2018, is up for reelection in 2022, going through what are anticipated to be well-financed challenges from Democrats Florida Rep. Charlie Crist and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried — each whom have attacked the Republican governor over coronavirus.

“This is a result of @GovRonDeSantis being asleep at the wheel on vaccination outreach,” Crist tweeted, linking to a narrative about hospitals filling up with Covid sufferers. “This inaction has put our people and economy at risk. Do better, Governor, lives are on the line.”

And Fried has stated, “No one wins because you were wrong, @GovRonDeSantis. What matters now is how we get back up, and work together to protect each other.”

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, dismissed the critiques from Crist and Fried, arguing “Democrats and the press have tried countless times to make this an issue to no avail.”

“It’s a sad attempt at relevance,” Hunt stated, “from two candidates who have failed to gain traction in the race.”



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