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Florida Gov says it took him two weeks to see the approach wasn’t working and change tactics

Ron DeSantis denounces ‘Faucism’: Florida Gov says it took him two weeks to see restrictions weren’t working and change tactics to protect the elderly while keeping businesses open

  • Florida has taken heavy criticism for DeSantis’ more relaxed approach to social and business restrictions in the pandemic 
  • The governor points to the state’s relatively low per capita death rate, ranking 26th in the nation overall and 41st out of 50 for seniors
  • California, which has pursued aggressive lockdowns, has roughly the same per capita death toll as Florida, with 153 deaths per 100,000 versus Florida’s 159 

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has said it only took him a few weeks to realize enforcing coronavirus restrictions was doing more harm than good in his state and wishes he’d have acted sooner.

Speaking to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis, who is a Republican, explained that he felt the extreme restrictions were not particularly effective with many other states simply ‘blindly’ following the advice of the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci

‘If I had more data, I would have had the ability to say, ‘Wait a minute. Why would we need to close a gym for two weeks?’ he asked. ‘These are younger people going to work out. If you’re healthy, you’re going to end up dealing with the virus better.” 

Florida has taken heavy criticism for DeSantis’ more relaxed approach to social and business restrictions in the pandemic

‘And so I think that it took me a few weeks, March and into April, to get enough data to say, ‘Okay, we’re not doing Faucism, we’re going to make sure our states open,” he said.

‘We’re going to get the kids back in school and we’ll just focus our protection on elderly people, who are the ones at risk…Some of the restrictions we did, I think, were ineffective.’  

Strict lockdowns were rolled out across the nation in the majority of states, but DeSantis has reveled in the fact he reopened Florida for business earlier than many others with infection rates not necessarily any higher than states which stuck tothe lock down. 

‘Some of these states like Minnesota, California – I think the fact that they were locked down and had the opportunity in Florida to go out and do stuff…added fuel to the fire,’ he said.

California, which has pursued aggressive lockdowns, has roughly the same per capita death toll as Florida, with 153 deaths per 100,000 versus Florida's 159

California, which has pursued aggressive lockdowns, has roughly the same per capita death toll as Florida, with 153 deaths per 100,000 versus Florida’s 159

DeSantis has long faced criticism from Democrats for his handling of the pandemic, saying he allowed the state to be too open too quickly and for making the wearing of masks entirely optional.

One recent example was spring break, where tens of thousands of college students from around the country and globe crowded into Miami Beach with few masks and no social distancing. The city imposed a curfew to curtail the crowds.

DeSantis contends Florida has fared better medically than many states with stronger restrictions.

Florida, overall, is near the middle of states in COVID-19 deaths per capita, with a rate of 159 per 100,000 since the pandemic began 13 months ago. 

Some states that had tougher lockdowns like New York and New Jersey have much higher rates of about 260 per 100,000 – but were also hit harder early in the pandemic before restrictions could take affect and before medical treatments for the disease were improved.

California, which DeSantis also likes to cite as a lockdown failure, has a slightly lower death rate of 153 per 100,000.

Over the past week, Florida’s daily death rate per capita has been lower than those three states. 

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