Now that Florida is behind nearly every single other state in average daily new COVID infections, you don’t hear so much about Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Back in August, as Florida was going through an intense wave of positive cases, like much of the rest of the country, Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post accused DeSantis of being one of the “right-wing politicians who have formed a sort of death cult.”
Vanity Fair last month called him the “angel of death.”
Charles Blow in The New York Times said that by resisting the left’s beloved economic restrictions and mask mandates, DeSantis was allowing Floridians “to choose death so that he can have a greater political life.”
The left has spent the entire past year and several months politicizing the pandemic in obvious ways, but nothing ever quite reveals their motives as much as when they choose to pay attention to Florida. Right now, there’s a Florida national news blackout, and the numbers show why.
The only state beating Florida for the lowest number of average daily new infections is Hawaii. And that’s even with plenty of other blue states having a higher rate of vaccination against COVID-19 than Florida does.
As of Tuesday, Florida was averaging 11 new infections for every 100,000 people per day. By contrast, New York, which has close to the same population size (Florida has a slightly higher one), is averaging more than double that. Fifty-nine percent of Florida’s population is “fully vaccinated.” In New York, it’s 66 percent.
No one’s accusing New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul of being an “angel of death,” though. The politics of COVID are apparently less interesting when the left can’t find fault in DeSantis.
And this is only looking at the most recent numbers. To be even more fair, which leftists never are, we can look at data that expands the entire pandemic and still see that Florida has not been the morgue that Democrats keep claiming it is.
Stipulating that the most important measure of success in managing a public health crisis is in keeping people alive, death rates in the top 10 states don’t seem to reflect any pattern related to partisan politics at all. Mississippi, a red state, currently has the highest death rate with 335 deaths per 100,000 people. Blue New Jersey is second, with 313. Alabama and Louisiana, two red states, follow. And then New York, a blue state, comes in at No. 5 for all-time highest death rate. Florida, under DeSantis, is in ninth place.
With multiple other red states having a higher death rate than Florida, is it a mystery that you probably don’t even know the names of those governors? Of course not. Florida is still considered a crucial swing state in presidential elections, and DeSantis is a relatively popular Republican who wants to run for that office in 2024.
The left loves politicizing the pandemic, but right now, at least when it comes to Florida, that’s not a good idea. They know that silence is better.