Nobody knows where this is going to end. The approach has almost been one of denial that this is a big deal. — Dr. Marissa J. Levine, the director of the Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice at the University of South Florida
Nobody knows where this is going to end. The approach has almost been one of denial that this is a big deal. — Dr. Marissa J. Levine, the director of the Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice at the University of South Florida
As Covid Surges in Florida, DeSantis Refuses to Change Course
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida snapped this week at a reporter who asked if masks might help keep children safe in a state that now has more Covid-19 hospitalizations, including for pediatric patients, than anywhere else in the nation.

He blamed President Biden’s purported failure to control the spread of the virus across the border after the president suggested that governors like Mr. DeSantis should either “help” fight the coronavirus or “get out of the way.”

And he touted a new state rule, adopted on Friday, that will counter local school mask mandates by allowing parents to request private school vouchers if they feel that the requirements amount to “harassment.”

Mr. DeSantis has been unyielding in his approach to the pandemic, refusing to change course or impose restrictions despite uncontrolled spread and spiking hospitalizations — an approach that forced him to undertake the biggest risk of his rising political career.


... Now Mr. DeSantis is gambling again. A new virus spike has led to a record number of Covid-19 hospitalizations that have undone some of Florida’s economic and public health gains and again raised the stakes for Mr. DeSantis.

If the latest surge overwhelms hospitals, leaving doctors and nurses unable to properly care for the younger, almost entirely unvaccinated people packing emergency rooms and intensive care units, Mr. DeSantis’s perch as a Republican Party front-runner with higher aspirations could be in serious trouble.

... Florida has the country’s highest hospitalization rate and second-highest rate of recent cases, next to Louisiana. Infection levels have been rising in every state, with especially alarming rates in the South. Many of those governors have also been reluctant to impose new restrictions or require masks.

... “Nobody knows where this is going to end,” said Dr. Marissa J. Levine, the director of the Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice at the University of South Florida. “The approach has almost been one of denial that this is a big deal.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/06/us/ron-desantis-florida-covid.html