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.

16 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
  13. Sherri Fiore

    Agree with you 100%. Our governor is probably one of the most practical and sensible governor in this country. It’s all about personal hygiene. We just need to get thru this and we will be fine. People also do not take into consideration the fact that we are a huge tourist state. It’s just something we need to deal with. I hope that he does not crack under pressure and he stands his ground on this issue!! As for the elderly or the more compromised individuals, there are alternatives for them without having to staying indoors.

    Reply
  14. Jim Bob

    Morons…seriously. The Florida economy will not recover until this is under control. Who/Why would people come visit in the middle of this mess. People do not act responsibly about social distancing, or masks, or anything else that science advises. They prefer to make some fantastical argument about supposed “constitutional rights” (what section of the Constitution are you citing anyhow) to avoid taking common sense steps to even wear a mask. They want to believe it is a “hoax” or that only others catch the illness. And if you do catch the illness, it can be, and often is devastating physically and financially even though it may not be fatal (how much does a day in ICU cost??). All I can tell from the current situation is not enough people in Florida do enough to protect themselves, or anyone else. It is either ignorance of sheer indifference but it is real. Covid-19 came into my home. The private home location that the exposure occurred at also impacted four other families and 15 other individuals who then had to quarantine for 14 days. We spent no money. We did not go out. We will avoid going out for the forseeable future. Even a trip to the grocery store is high-risk adventure. Gyms, restaurants, bars are just a few of the really bad sources of infection yet they remain open.

    Your “economy” will never recover until this is under control. Why would anyone come here and stay in a state that is being ravaged more than most countries are. There is a reason this illness is out of control in Florida. A lack of leadership, especially from the Governor, and a lack of discipline and effort on the part of many, many Florida residents. But hey, you showed everyone by not wearing a mask and enjoying your “freedom” to contribute to the spread of the illness. The status quo is merely dragging out the time necessary to recover. Foolish. Sad.

    Sad

    Reply
  15. John Murphy

    Jim Bob you are a fear mongering of the first class. To begin with the masks have been proven to not be effective more than 0.05%….Many nations did not go nuts like all you liberals want us to do. Its called lets destroy America and remake it our way…Sorry we are not built that way. We dont hide under the bed like all you supposed leaders want us to do…This is a textbook example of give folks power an they go nuts with it….Especially liberals they are bound and determined to destroy everything because in there world everyone must be forced to do things there way…Sorry we dont do that we look , figure a way to fix it, an then take action. Understand a simple thought no money flowing into government no cures for problems. Deaths are what’s important the rest is baloney window dressing. It really does not matter how many are infected, but do we have the necessary beds to make them well? An the answer is YES WE DO…Our POTUS sent a hospital ship and modified a convention center to a mash style hospital because a liberal Governor said he was out of beds Trump built him 2800 new beds an how many were used ZERO Coumo is a liar like most liberal leaders…

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Couldn’t agree more with this article and the brilliant logic behind it!! I can relate: My entire basement is flooded from floor to ceiling, but earlier this year my basement and 1st floor were flooded so it’s not a big now. Plus I have a 2nd story so as long as that’s not flooded there’s plenty of room. No big deal…

    Reply

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