TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been beset with intense criticism and scorn throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for his refusal to follow many restrictions issued by health officials. But with the recent news that Florida’s COVID cases have dropped to levels much lower than many states that still employ strict restrictions – including mask and vaccination mandates – some of DeSantis’ have gone silent.
According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, new infections per 100,000 Florida residents dropped to 12 last week, and have dropped 48 percent overall in the last two weeks.
In contrast, New York – which has many strict COVID-19 restrictions still in-place – now has infections rates double those of Florida’s, with 25 per 100,000 residents recorded last week; in Washington state, the infection rate was 31 per 100,000 residents over the past week.
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DeSantis drew widespread criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that parted with many other states’ actions to curb the spread of the virus. The Florida Governor allowed business lockdowns to end far earlier than most other states and has not only not issued masking or vaccination mandates, but has actually gone out of his way to prevent local governments and schools in his state from being able to issue them as well.
When the spring came around, DeSantis actually had some positive press over the low case counts and low unemployment in Florida; however, a surge of the Delta COVID-19 variant hit the state very hard in August and September renewing criticism of the Governor, who again refused to impose any new lockdown measures or vaccination/mask mandates.