There is a frustrating amount of glee dwelling within negative reporting on Florida. ABC affiliates run headlines that sound like sports coverage, such as “‘We’re not in a good place’: Florida leading states in COVID-19 cases following spike.” The Associated Press smugly released “Florida mayors defy DeSantis with mask, vaccine mandates,” an article chock-full of snippets from Governor DeSantis’s political opponents. It all seems to be an effort to make an emerging conservative political leader out to be failing.
But he is not.
The media are right to point out that hospitalizations and cases have spiked in the Sunshine State. Medical centers in Tallahassee and Central Florida once again have had to suspend elective procedures because of patient overloads. But the corresponding death spike is not present in the data, as Florida continues to have around 0.24 daily deaths per 100,000 residents. While this is above the national average, it is also below the rate of some Democrat-run states, such as Nevada (0.39 per 100,000), and also fails to account for Florida’s status as the second-most-elderly state in the union. There’s a lot at play here, and you can always count on journalists to omit important details.
The most loathsome thing to recently come out of the media is “The right’s new tone on COVID vaccines,” published by the Los Angeles Times editorial board. The only possible justification for this festering excrescence would be if the entire opinion staff of the LAT suffered a collective bout of amnesia. They claim that, had “DeSantis and other prominent Republicans been as forceful vaccine supporters as President Biden . . . from the start of the immunization campaign, the country might not have to consider new mask mandates and other restrictions.” They must be joking.
What ever happened to the insane vaccine-conspiracy theories peddled by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris before they took office? David Harsanyi has already torn fact-checkers apart for this, but it is worth reiterating that the media appear to have completely forgotten what our president and vice president said only a few months ago. Biden baselessly asserted that the vaccines were “not likely to go through all the tests that need to be done and the trials that are needed to be done.” Harris was spewing nonsense like “if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it,” along with other unfounded claims that public-health experts under Trump “will be muzzled,” “suppressed,” and “sidelined,” to conceal negative vaccine press coverage.
Yet the Times has the gall to claim that DeSantis should have been more like Biden. DeSantis, the man who has been inundating his constituents with vaccination-campaign advertisements? DeSantis, the man who has been hawkishly promoting vaccines since the beginning? Who made 27 vaccine-related appearances in January alone? Yeah right.
Florida led the country in vaccinations among those ages 65 and older, and, as of May 1, over 80 percent of the state’s seniors were at least partially vaccinated. This strategy, to prioritize the vaccination of those most vulnerable, is what has prevented a resurgence of the death counts we witnessed last year, despite the outbreak of the Delta variant.
The LA Times, as is the case with most of the biased media, is totally discredited. They are transparently trying to erase DeSantis’s achievements. They cannot comprehend the idea that someone managed to succeed while ignoring the mainstream pundits’ advice to crush small businesses and houses of worship with totalitarian lockdowns. The fact that Florida’s unemployment rate is lower than those of Michigan, Illinois, New York, and California leaves them indignant. The migration of coastal Americans baffles them — how could anyone possibly want to leave Philadelphia for Jacksonville? So they lash out. And people should know that.