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Gov Ron DeSantis says Florida got it right with no-lockdown COVID approach

Florida‘s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has hit out at those who have previously criticized his no-restriction approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, defiantly telling them: ‘Florida got it right’. 

The state hasn’t had any statewide restrictions for at least six months after DeSantis allowed businesses, including bars and restaurants, to open at full capacity. 

He also prohibited municipalities from fining people who refuse to wear masks. 

His approach was criticized at the time by some health experts and the governors of Democratic states, such as California and New York, who had enforced stricter lockdown measures on their residents.

‘Everyone told me I was wrong,’ DeSantis said in a fundraising appeal on Tuesday, according to CNN. 

‘I faced continued pressure from radical Democrats and the liberal media but I refused to back down. 

‘It’s clear: Florida got it right.’ 

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has hit out at those who have previously criticized his no-restriction approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, defiantly telling them: ‘Florida got it right’

The state hasn't had any statewide restrictions for at least six months after DeSantis allowed businesses, including bars and restaurants, to open at full capacity. Pictured above are spring breakers in Miami this week

The state hasn’t had any statewide restrictions for at least six months after DeSantis allowed businesses, including bars and restaurants, to open at full capacity. Pictured above are spring breakers in Miami this week

Despite starkly differing approaches, Florida and California have both experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates.  

California has had a COVID-19 case rate of about 8,900 per 100,000 residents since the pandemic began, according to the latest CDC data. Meanwhile, Florida’s case count is at 9,000 per 100,000 residents. 

Both rank in the middle among states for COVID-19 death rates: Florida has had 150 deaths per 100,000, while California is at 140 fatalities per 100,000 since the pandemic began. 

Cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Florida and California have been declining after peaking to record highs in the wake of Thanksgiving.  

Florida has had roughly 3 percent more COVID-19 cases per capita than the US total but 8 percent less deaths.   

While research has found that mask mandates and limits on group activities can help slow the spread of COVID-19, states with greater government-imposed restrictions, such as California, have not always fared better than those without them. 

Florida’s response to the pandemic has meant its economy has been booming.

Spring breakers are currently crowding Florida cities and Miami has seen an influx of of famed New York City restaurants opening up shop.  

FLORIDA: Florida's cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been declining after peaking to record highs in the wake of Thanksgiving. The state's seven-day rolling average for cases per day is now 4,500, while deaths are at an average of 83

FLORIDA: Florida’s cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been declining after peaking to record highs in the wake of Thanksgiving. The state’s seven-day rolling average for cases per day is now 4,500, while deaths are at an average of 83

CALIFORNIA: Cases, deaths and hospitalizations in California have also been declining after peaking to record highs in the wake of Thanksgiving. The rolling average for cases in California is currently 2,900 and average deaths are at 211

CALIFORNIA: Cases, deaths and hospitalizations in California have also been declining after peaking to record highs in the wake of Thanksgiving. The rolling average for cases in California is currently 2,900 and average deaths are at 211

Despite starkly differing approaches, Florida and California have both experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates. Both states reported steep drop offs in cases following the peak that occurred after Thanksgiving

Despite starkly differing approaches, Florida and California have both experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates. Both states reported steep drop offs in cases following the peak that occurred after Thanksgiving

The state's unemployment rate is currently 4.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other states with stricter lockdowns have higher rates, including New York (8.8 percent) and California (9 percent)

The state’s unemployment rate is currently 4.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other states with stricter lockdowns have higher rates, including New York (8.8 percent) and California (9 percent)

The state’s unemployment rate is currently 4.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Other states with stricter lockdowns have higher rates, including New York (8.8 percent) and California (9 percent).  

Experts are now questioning how the two states – Florida and California – have managed to arrive at similar points despite taking such different tactics. 

‘This is going to be an important question that we have to ask ourselves: What public health measures actually were the most impactful, and which ones had negligible effect or backfired by driving behavior underground?’ Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Associated Press. 

In a press conference on Tuesday, DeSantis doubled down on his response by saying that lockdowns imposed by other states had damaged the country. 

‘Those lockdowns have not worked. They’ve done great damage to our country,’ he said.  

Two Spring Breakers enjoy the view of ... their iPhones on Miami Beach on Wednesday

Two Spring Breakers enjoy the view of … their iPhones on Miami Beach on Wednesday

Florida's response to the pandemic has meant its economy has been booming. Spring breakers are currently crowding Florida cities and Miami has seen an influx of of famed New York City restaurants opening up shop

Florida’s response to the pandemic has meant its economy has been booming. Spring breakers are currently crowding Florida cities and Miami has seen an influx of of famed New York City restaurants opening up shop

No masks on the beach in Miami, but sunbathers were putting on sunblock Wednesday

No masks on the beach in Miami, but sunbathers were putting on sunblock Wednesday 

‘We can never let something like this happen again. Florida took a different path. We’ve had more success as a result.

‘We still have millions of kids across this country who are denied access to in-person education. We still have businesses closed in many parts of this country. We have millions and millions of lives destroyed.’  

President Biden’s CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky has warned, however, that the number of infections in Florida could spike off the back of Spring Breakers flocking to the state amid the spread of a COVID-19 variant. 

It comes as the mayor of Miami Beach said Spring Breakers had ‘forgotten there is a pandemic’, adding that too many people were coming to the city ‘with a desire to go wild’. 

Spring Breakers gathered in Miami Beach enjoy the sun - as the mayor says people have arrived with an 'anything goes' mentality when it comes to the coronavirus

Spring Breakers gathered in Miami Beach enjoy the sun – as the mayor says people have arrived with an ‘anything goes’ mentality when it comes to the coronavirus 

It wasn't just the beach that was crowded: Bars in Miami Beach also were teeming on St. Pat's

It wasn’t just the beach that was crowded: Bars in Miami Beach also were teeming on St. Pat’s

But the mayor has worried that the city doesn't have the capacity to handle so many people

But the mayor has worried that the city doesn’t have the capacity to handle so many people

Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach, said people were arriving with an ‘anything goes’ mentality.  

Gelber said the city was not equipped to handle so many people.

‘I think it might be a little bit related to just people looking to let loose after being pent up, but some people are coming here with sort of an anything-goes mentality and even if it’s just a small percentage – it’s a small percentage of an enormous amount of people,’ Gelber said. 

‘I’ve been on Ocean Drive almost every day in the last week, and the number of people not wearing masks or just not bothering with any of the healthy practices is very disturbing,’ he said.

‘An enormous number of people are coming our way, and many of them, if not most, seem to have forgotten that there’s a pandemic.’    


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