Florida Urged to ‘Ramp Up’ Vaccinations Amid ‘Alarming’ Rise in Delta Variant Cases
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in Texas, pulling a MAGA and bashing President Joe Biden over immigration at the southern border. But with the highly contagious Delta variant pushing new cases of Covid-19 in his home state to their highest level since January, DeSantis’s road trip now looks increasingly deaf in tone and timing.
By week’s end, Florida was accounting for almost a quarter of new infections nationally, with the U.S. surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, warning of an “alarming” rise in deaths and hospitalizations.
“The challenge in Florida, and in far too many states, is [that] we still don’t have vaccination rates high enough, and in some pockets we have actually vaccination rates quite low,” Murthy said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers. “The consequence is that Covid is now spreading very quickly in those populations.”
Florida’s nation-leading surge, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has seen the seven-day average of cases more than quadrupled from 1,839 on 1 July to 8,911 three weeks later, is filling up hospitals around the state. Hospital systems in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and central Florida are reporting a record rise in admissions, and are limiting visitors and warning of looming staff shortages.
Maybe Ron Desantis shouldn’t get an apology? pic.twitter.com/qNNdrOGzF7
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) July 25, 2021
DeSantis has promised action: but only to convene a special session of the Florida legislature to block any move by the Biden administration to implement a mask mandate in the state’s public schools. “If I were a parent in Florida, that would be greatly concerning to me,” the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters after DeSantis announced the proposal.
Governor DeSantis is letting Floridians die.
— Remove Ron (@RemoveRon) July 25, 2021
The Governor has earned the nicknames “DeathSantis” and “DeathSentence” on social media after his early ignorance of the coronavirus and mishandling of his state’s mask mandates and lockdown procedures. Despite selling anti-vaxxer merchandise with the slogan “Don’t Fauci My Florida”, DeSantis has now quickly adopted the brand new GOP tactic of encouraging their base to get vaccinated.
In what hopefully isn’t a case of way too little, way too late, DeSantis is now on board with his constituents getting their shots.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has over 1 million Twitter followers and tweets all day long.
His state of Florida has the most new COVID cases in the country.
Yet — despite being vaccinated himself — DeSantis hasn’t tweeted about the vaccine in over 3 months.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 25, 2021
“These vaccines are saving lives,” DeSantis said at a news conference at which he noted that more than 95% of new infections in Florida were of those who had not received a shot. The state ranks 25th in the US, with 48.1% of those eligible fully vaccinated, 0.7% below the national average.
Over the last few months, Ron DeSantis has used his Twitter account to criticize Joe Biden and the CDC, mock Dr. Fauci, and even make restaurant recommendations, but he can’t be bothered to encourage his followers to get vaccinated. Tells you all you need to know.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) July 24, 2021