Here’s why Ron DeSantis is ignoring Democrats and the media on COVID-19

by | Jun 26, 2020


Despite nationwide media attention on the massive surge in new COVID-19 cases in Florida, the number of hospitalizations and deaths in the state remain relatively flat, giving Governor Ron DeSantis confidence that the state’s more vulnerable populations are taking precautions. That, in turn, is allowing DeSantis to resist Democrats like Nikki Fried, who are constantly calling for him to issue job-killing statewide restrictions.

The state posted a record 8,942 new cases this morning, on top of a series of record setting days throughout the week. Unsurprisingly, that prompted Fried to seek out the nearest available cable TV camera and criticize DeSantis for not using a more heavy-handed approach to solve the problem.

But while his critics seem to have tunnel vision on the number of new positive tests posted each day, the surge in cases remains heavily concentrated among young adults under 30 years old, while older, more vulnerable Floridians account for fewer cases. In fact, the share of cases specifically among college-aged youth are actually growing higher each day:

Young adults between 20-24 years old comprise more than 15 percent of all Florida cases, with a slight growth in cases of older twenty-somethings. But because young adults are less susceptible to the virus, the new cases are producing fewer serious symptoms, and requiring fewer hospitalizations than cases that came during the first wave in March through May:

The chart above shows hospitalizations and deaths at the same scale as the growth in cases, illustrating why DeSantis has resisted Democrat calls to push the panic button and order statewide restrictions. The previous lockdown was ordered with the goal of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Instead of locking down, DeSantis says people just need to keep taking precautions to protect themselves, noting that COVID-19 is highly contagious and dangerous to many people.

“We’re going to continue to put out the messaging, we’re going to continue to put out the guidance, and we’re going to trust people to make good judgment,” DeSantis said.

Focusing more closely on the hospitalization numbers does show that the number of serious cases is growing, if only slightly, and nowhere near the state’s bed capacity. Today, the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 hospital admissions matched the daily record average set back in April of 172 cases:

As of Friday evening, Florida had 14,286 empty hospital beds, around 24% of the total number in the state, even after allowing elective surgeries to resume. So even though the average daily admissions for COVID-19 will climb higher in the days ahead, the state can easily flex up to handle more serious cases if needed, by restricting elective surgeries and discharging less serious patients early. So far, that remains unlikely in the near future.

Deaths are also well below the peak number set in early May, and are even down slightly from early June, at 37 deaths per day.

12 Comments

  1. mm

    So is the plan for older Floridians to just quarantine for the rest of their lives so the young adults can party it up? Doesn’t seem very well thought out….

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Thank God for a responsible, reasonable Governor!

    Reply
  3. Jason

    Liberals just won’t be happy until the Governor closes down the entire state once again, thereby killing Florida’s economy once again, and then they’ll blame Republicans for the economic malaise in November.

    Reply
  4. Pop

    Speaking as an elderly, and for myself, we’re using common sense, being reasonably cautious, practicing good hygiene and living our lives. We have no desire to cripple the selfishly economy by giving in to the scare mongering hordes seek to destroy this country as we know it.

    Reply
  5. Pitt Warner

    At age 62 I have rediscovered the benefits of kindergarten. There I learned to wash my hands, especially after the “lavatory”, keep my hands to myself and cover my mouth when I cough.

    Reply
  6. Debbie

    Love this reply. I too am retired and don’t want to shut down the economy. We all know there are those who have shown they will STOP AT NOTHING to remove the country’s choice of president in 2016. Nothing

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Asinine comment

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Why close bars but bars in restaurants are ok ..just layed off more and un employment issues not fixed

    Reply
  9. William Snow

    I’d say the target keeps moving. If masks worked, all flu would be down. It is not. Cut the crap and stop the run and hide mentality.

    Reply
  10. Dr. SMac

    Here’s why Florida’s approach is dangerous:
    “I have become increasingly convinced we’re going to find a large cadre of people who get infected, thankfully don’t die, recover from the acute illness but have meaningful long-term complications,” said Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor of global health. “This is much more serious than a lot of folks have been describing, and I would not take the idea of young athletes getting infected lightly.”

    Reply
  11. Ted

    This is what people REALLY need to hear about. Long-term disability effs the economy more! Gov is a remora. And this writer is a sea louse on the remora.

    Reply
  12. JD

    As far as I’m concerned, this is the way it should be. Let the economy stay alive. Be smart about social distancing and wearing masks when distance cannot be obtained. We need to keep the economy alive else EVERYONE will be worse off (no jobs, no health insurance, no food, no home over their heads, etc.) Those that are vulnerable are the ones who should take the precautions. It doesn’t mean the vulnerable have to totally stay at home. It means – shop when there are less crowds. Wear the mask. Keep the distance. Wash the hands, etc etc etc. People need to get off the idea of %’s and numbers. As far as I’m concerned (and I know that every death is a tragedy – that’s a give me) but if you look at the deaths then that means everyone else that was diagnosed has survived and gone on with life. When you look at the number of deaths and look at the total population, it is still very low. Keeping people quarantined is causing many more deaths from heart attacks and strokes alone. People need to get back out. The governor is making the right decisions.

    Reply

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