Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Will Defeat COVID-19 Surge By Sh*tting On Dr. Fauci
COVID-19 cases in Florida are climbing. The state Department of Health reported a 7.8 percent positivity rate for the week of July 2 to 8 compared to 5.2 percent for the previous week. A coronavirus outbreak sent home at least 22 employees at Orlando's 911 call center, not last year but this week. According to the Orlando Sentinel, 16 employees at the center tested positive for the coronavirus while six others are quarantining because of possible exposure to an infected person. Two of the employees were hospitalized, so this is more than just a cold.
The center has 103 employees, so its work force is down roughly 20 percent. That's not ideal when the center's responsible for routing 911 calls and triaging the police and fire response. It should come as no surprise that only one of the infected employees was vaccinated against COVID-19.
Florida's fully vaccinated rate is about 47 percent, which ranks roughly in the middle of all other states. That figure doesn't correspond, however, with how aggressively Florida has reopened (to the extent it ever shut down). A deeper dive into the numbers reveals that vaccination rates are higher in counties that President Joe Biden won and dismally low in counties Donald Trump carried. In most cases, the difference is not about access but political ideology, as if perhaps an entire rightwing ecosystem was actively discouraging vaccination.
Gov. DeSantis gives his thoughts on predictions that there will be a "summer surge" of COVID-19. https://t.co/YNJvBI0XUf— The Post Millennial (@The Post Millennial) 1624417789.0
Just a few weeks ago on Laura Ingraham's cross-burning hour, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dismissed the idea of a “summer surge," which if our calendars are correct is exactly what we're seeing now. Florida's confirmed COVID-19 cases have increased 257 percent (or in layman's terms, a lot) over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations have increased by 50 percent. Florida is averaging more cases per 100,000 residents (26) than any state other than Arkansas, where they are busy fighting the menace of critical race theory.
Florida's numbers are objectively bad, but DeSantis has somehow gotten credit for not managing to kill everyone in the state. It's a big state. Give him some time. The media does seem intent on depicting DeSantis as a governor who simply has a different point of view about managing this pandemic. In reality, he's consistently, lethally wrong about COVID-19.
When DeSantis recklessly lifted pandemic restrictions, The New York Times included this gloating quote in a March article: "If you look at South Florida right now, this place is booming. Los Angeles isn't booming. New York City isn't booming."
Over the next month, Florida's seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases rose from about 4,000 to 6,000. During that period, cases in California trended downward, as they did less dramatically in New York. The self-proclaimed “pro-life" governor prioritized Florida's economic health over the literal health of his constituents. That's not impressive leadership, but we shouldn't expect much more from a guy who picks fights with an 80-year-old man.
DeSantis's campaign team — for governor, of course, certainly no higher office — unveiled its shabby merchandise, which targets Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The Team DeSantis store is selling “Don't Fauci My Florida" drink koozies and T-shirts. That's gross and not even catchy. Dr. Fauci's horrible offense was suggesting Americans, including the sizable moron population, wear masks and not spit COVID-19 on each other in crowded spaces.
This is how the Washington Post describes the rightwing demonization of a private citizen.
A pandemic hero to some and villain to others, Fauci has become a high-profile target.
The Post doesn't make the obvious observation: It's downright sociopathic for spoiled brats to villainize someone who provides medical guidance they don't want to hear. Also, given the violence on January 6, which Trump has defended, making someone a “high-profile target" could have literal ramifications.
The Fauci items are listed alongside "Keep Florida Free" hats and red koozies that take aim at face coverings with a DeSantis quote: "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?"
You just pull down the goddamn mask. Dr. Fauci isn't responsible for your drinking problem. Or your inability to work a face mask.
This is the asshole we're supposed to worry about in 2024, and unfortunately, there's good reason for concern. Even before Trump, America elected a president who lost a fight with a pretzel.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."