Florida has become the epicenter of the explosion of cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, accounting for one-fifth of new infections in the United States. Yet GOP Governor Ron DeSantis – an anti-science peon of former President Donald Trump – is out gallivanting around promoting himself for the Sunshine State’s 2022 gubernatorial race and perhaps as a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Instead of stepping up to protect his state’s residents, DeSantis over the weekend appeared at Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA conference to taunt Doctor Anthony Fauci and spread deadly misinformation about coronavirus vaccinations, whose lagging inoculate rate is fueling the alarming spike in COVID-19 infections.
On Tuesday, The Orlando Sentinel‘s Editorial Board blasted DeSantis for abdicating his responsibilities as governor.
“Always classy, our governor, who then encouraged the Turning Point USA crowd to go buy campaign merch emblazoned with Fauci mockery. Predictably, DeSantis said nothing in his speech about how Florida has become the poster child (except perhaps for Arkansas) for the surging number of COVID cases attributed to the wildly contagious Delta variant,” the Editorial Board wrote.
“Overall new COVID cases are up nearly 200% in Florida over the past two weeks, and Florida is third in the nation in per capita increases, accounting for nearly 20% of the entire nation’s new COVID infections. The rate of positive COVID tests is now well north of 10%. Recent data show Florida with the fourth-highest rate of COVID hospitalizations and the nation’s highest average for daily deaths over the past week,” The Board continued, noting that “we’re a middle-of-the-pack state with barely 57% of the adult population fully vaccinated, below the national average. The AARP just reported that Florida has the second-lowest rate of vaccinated nursing home workers in the nation, and a lower than average population of nursing home residents vaccinated.”
DeSantis is actively enabling mass death in Florida and his self-aggrandizing behavior demonstrates that he does not give a damn.
“At the moment, it’s as if DeSantis has washed his hands of the matter and moved on to elections, borders, critical race theory, mocking Fauci or whatever else will get him a headline. And every few days, nearly as many people are dying from COVID as died in the recent collapse of a condominium in South Florida,” the Board added.
The op-ed concluded with a desperate plea for meaningful action.
“‘Leadership is about handling problems.’ That’s what DeSantis told the conservative TPUSA crowd on Sunday. Please, governor, we’re begging you, handle the COVID problem,” the Board said. “Be a leader.”
The story continues at The Orlando Sentinel.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.