Florida doctors ‘angry and ashamed’ at Governor Ron DeSantis as state becomes national epicenter of Covid
Florida doctors say they are “angry and ashamed” about Governor Ron DeSantis’ response to the novel coronavirus. The prominent Republican has repeatedly criticized federal public health guidance and vowed not to impose new lockdowns or hide mandates, even as the state becomes the national epicenter of the virus, as a delta variant sweeps across unprotected sectors of its population.
“While hospitals in our state were filling up, DeSantis was screaming about ‘freedom over Faucism,'” Bernard Ashby, a Miami cardiologist who leads the state’s commission to protect health care, WLRN . said. “If DeSantis was as concerned about stopping the spread of COVID-19 as he was about these clever punches about Dr. Fauci, we might not be in that position.”
The governor’s office insists the state is doing well under Mr DeSantis Covid, with the recent rise only a “seasonal” jump, but Florida’s Covid data tells another, much grimmer story.
“The governor has made countless public appearances across the state to encourage vaccination, and has spoken favorably about vaccines in public statements nearly 100 times this year,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement to the Florida News Service. “He is proud of the successful start-up and Seniors First strategy, which means that 85 percent of our most vulnerable population has been vaccinated and thousands of lives have been saved. COVID cases, hospitalizations and especially deaths have decreased significantly compared to this time last year.”
Florida is now the national epicenter of a delta-fueled Covid resurgence. Cases are up 50 percent week after week, with 110,000 new cases this week alone, levels not seen since January when a vaccine wasn’t widely available. The state has a positivity rate of 18.1 percent, and more people are hospitalized than any other state in America.
On top of that, the people who take care of those in hospital are also at risk: Florida’s health care workers have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. The AARP report found that as of last month, only 42 percent of nursing home workers in the state had been vaccinated, well below the national average of 56 percent.
“There is no higher risk area in the United States than what we see here,” Dr. Eileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, CBS Miami branch said. “The numbers we’re seeing are unbelievable, they’re incredibly scary.”
Despite the growing threat, DeSantis has held a position against shutdowns, mandates and other measures that have been shown to stem the spread.
“It is very important that we say unequivocally ‘no’ to closures, not to school closures, neither to restrictions nor to mandates,” Mr. DeSantis said Wednesday night in Salt Lake City at a conservative conference.
During the course of the epidemic, he entered Legislative ban on vaccine passports In addition to a provision allowing the legislature and the governor’s office to invalidate local health regulations if they “unnecessarily restrict a constitutional right, a fundamental liberty, or a statutory right.” He also threatened to call for a special session to withhold any national authorization of the muzzle for students.