Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, on Wednesday lambasted the mainstream press for confidently projecting a disastrous Covid outbreak in his state.
“You’ve got a lot of people in your profession [journalists] who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks, about how Florida was going to be just like New York. ‘Wait two weeks, Florida’s going to be next;’ ‘Just like Italy, wait two weeks.’ Well hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened,” DeSantis told reporters outside at an Orlando nursing home with Vice President Mike Pence.
The governor noted that Florida had a lower coronavirus death rate than various states on the Eastern Seaboard and the Midwest, with 2,096 confirmed deaths out of 47,000 cases as of Wednesday. Media outlets had predicted a looming disaster if Florida reopened its economy too soon, although the reopening has proceeded without a major rise in cases.
DeSantis says any insinuation Florida doesn't have best data is typical partisan narrative.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) May 20, 2020
“We’ve succeeded, and I think that people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative,” DeSantis remarked. “It challenges their assumption, so they’ve got to try to find a bogeyman.”
DeSantis explained to National Review that his state had implemented a policy of keeping coronavirus patients out of nursing homes for the duration of the infection to prevent spread of the disease, which is highly contagious in closed environments. That policy contrasts with New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 25 mandate that nursing homes must accept coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. At least 665 nursing home residents in Florida have died from coronavirus, while 5,601 nursing home residents have succumbed to the disease.