During a press conference with Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called out the mainstream media for their inaccurate reporting about COVID-19 deaths in his state. DeSantis was initially tentative to shut down outdoor recreational areas like beaches and was ridiculed by the media for his allegedly relaxed response.
The media was calling Florida “the next New York City,” claiming the epicenter of the coronavirus was moving to the sunshine state. As of today, Florida has a total of 2,052 COVID-19 deaths compared to New York’s 22,843 deaths. The two states are opposites in both death rates and gubernatorial responses.
When asked about the accuracy of Florida’s data, DeSantis called out the media for trying to insinuate the data was false in any manner.
“Our data is available, our data is transparent. In fact, Dr. [Deborah] Birx has talked multiple times about how Florida has the absolute best data. So, any insinuation otherwise is just typical, partisan narrative trying to be spun,” DeSantis told reporters. “You’ve got a lot of people in your profession who wax poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York.”
DeSantis recalled the mainstream media’s narrative claiming we all need to wait two weeks and then Florida will be like New York or Italy.
“Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that and it hasn’t happened,” DeSantis said. “I was the number one landing spot from tens of thousands of people leaving the number one hot zone in the world to come to my state.”
Good stuff from DeSantis here. pic.twitter.com/ESvo6Pb1uw
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) May 20, 2020
DeSantis concluded by saying Florida has succeeded in tackling coronavirus and he’s frustrated the mainstream media treat him as the boogeyman.
“We’ve succeeded and I think that people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption. So, they’ve got to try and find a boogeyman,” DeSantis said.
In an interview with National Review’s Rich Lowry, DeSantis said he was surprised at how hostile the coverage was of his work in Florida. However, he noted that “none of these people knew anything about Florida at all,” so he didn’t care what they were saying.
For instance, the mainstream media made it conventional wisdom Florida would be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic because of their roughly 350,000 residents in nursing care facilities across the state, but the state took practical measures to mitigate the spread of the virus for such facilities.
“We advised, before there was even mitigation, if you’re 65 and older, stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds. And that was just something that made sense,” DeSantis told National Review.
Meanwhile, New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an advisory for hospitals to discharge elderly patients with COVID-19 back to nursing homes. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities alike are struggling to protect their employees and residents from the coronavirus because they lack adequate protective equipment. Many facilities are also short on staff, which requires staff members to interact with more patients, both healthy and ill.
“An irony of the national coverage of the coronavirus crisis is that at the same time DeSantis was being made into a villain, New York governor Andrew Cuomo was being elevated as a hero, even though the DeSantis approach to nursing homes was obviously superior to that of Cuomo,” Lowry wrote on the poor coverage of DeSantis’ pragmatic work.
The media has a clear agenda in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic; champion the Democratic governors and slam the Republican governors. It doesn’t matter whether Republicans are doing well or whether Democrats are doing poorly. The goal of the media is to alter reality to make it fit their narrative.