Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ rejection of draconian lockdown measures has been widely attacked by the mainstream media for months.
But his state’s success is becoming so hard to ignore that even Florida Democrats are quietly acknowledging that the Republican was likely right in his handling of the pandemic.
“Even some Florida Democrats are wondering whether Gov. Ron DeSantis’ widely panned COVID response might turn out to be right,” Axios reported Monday.
The New York Times on Sunday underscored Florida’s booming real estate market and the state’s low unemployment rate. “Much of the state has a boomtown feel, a sense of making up for months of lost time,” wrote Patricia Mazzei.
“The Times notes that Florida’s unemployment rate is 5.1%, compared to 9.3% in California, 8.7% in New York and 6.9% in Texas,” Axios highlighted.
And when it comes to caring for children, Florida has had in-classroom instruction since the fall. Notably, children are generally at extremely low risk to COVID-19 and have not been shown to be so-called “super-spreader” vectors, as once believed.
Alternatively, staying out of school significantly increases other risks to children, as outlined by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield back in July.
“I’m of the point of view, and I weigh that equation as an individual that has 11 grandchildren that the greater risk is actually to the nation to keep these schools closed,” Redfield stated at the time, warning, “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now [for high schoolers] than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.”
Highlighting DeSantis’ win in a landscape of massive failure, Politico’s Marc Caputo wrote, “With a COVID death count cover-up consuming New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a pandemic-related recall effort haunting California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Republicans are embracing DeSantis as a red-state exemplar.”
The Daily Wire wrote in February about how Florida has not only outperformed with their economy, but with COVID-19-related deaths, which has made DeSantis a potential 2024 contender:
DeSantis has emerged as a potential contender because his approach to the pandemic kept Florida’s economy from crumbling while keeping the state’s death rate per capita far lower than most other states with large populations. The only larger state with a lower per capita death rate is California, which has had 20,000 more deaths than Florida. New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, and 22 others including Washington, D.C. have all seen more deaths per 100,000 residents than Florida. This doesn’t mean Florida has had the best response, but it does show that the state has kept deaths low relative to population, which is a feat considering the aging population of the Sunshine State is most vulnerable to the virus.
DeSantis made his own case for his state’s success over the weekend on Fox News airwaves.
“We just tried to look at the whole society. We wanted to look out for everybody,” DeSantis told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. “We viewed this as a virus that was particularly dangerous for elderly people but not as dangerous for younger people, so we did the opposite on nursing homes: we banned hospitals from sending infected patients to nursing homes. We also did things like prioritize our seniors for vaccinations. But we had kids in school; it’s very important that they have the opportunity to go to school in person. We also saved the economy from collapse; our unemployment rate right now is 4.9 %. So we did all those things even with one of the most elderly populations in the country and our per capita COVID mortality is less than the national average and far less than lockdown states like New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.”