Gov. Ron DeSantis has drawn national attention for bucking federal health-care officials over the handling of the novel coronavirus, but a group of Florida physicians said Thursday the governor’s push to reopen the state and block precautions are a main reason for a sharp increase in the number of residents suffering from Covid-19.
Bernard Ashby, a Miami cardiologist and leader of the Florida chapter of the Committee to Protect Health Care, said DeSantis should spend more time talking to people about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and less time attacking federal infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci in hopes of scoring political points.
“While hospitals in our state were filling up, DeSantis was shouting about ‘Freedom over Faucism,’” said Ashby who leads the group of 405 Florida physicians. “If DeSantis were as concerned about stopping COVID-19 spread as he was about coming up with these clever jabs about Dr. Fauci, we might not be in this position.”
Ashby said DeSantis has bragged about Florida’s approach to handling the pandemic, but he accused the governor of being reactive and not having a plan to protect residents.
“As a physician and a Floridian, I am frankly angry and ashamed. You know the Florida-man moniker unfortunately holds true in this particular circumstance,” Ashby said, referring to the stereotype that people in Florida do bizarre or stupid things.
Christina Pushaw, a DeSantis spokeswoman, said the physicians aren’t well-informed and cited the governor’s focus on vaccinating seniors.
“The governor has made countless public appearances all over the state to encourage vaccination, and he has spoken positively of the vaccines in public remarks nearly 100 times this year,” Pushaw said in a statement to The News Service of Florida. “He’s proud of the successful rollout and the Seniors First strategy, which means 85 percent of our most vulnerable population is vaccinated, and thousands of lives saved. COVID cases, hospitalizations and especially deaths are down significantly compared to this time last year.”
DeSantis twice this week has shrugged off the spike in COVID-19 cases as a “seasonal” event and said he’s not worried about the numbers. But Gainesville infectious-disease specialist Frederick Southwick, a member of the physicians’ committee, said DeSantis is incorrect.
“Our present surge of infections consist of those who have not been vaccinated,” said Southwick, who said he spent 10 days earlier this year administering 35,000 vaccine doses.
DeSantis said Wednesday that people who get vaccinated will likely avoid serious illness or death from the virus.
While St. Petersburg immunologist Mona Mangat said she was glad the governor promoted vaccines as being effective, she worries about his other actions, such as preventing businesses from requiring that people show proof of vaccination — an issue known as banning vaccine “passports.”
“At the same time as DeSantis says the vaccines are effective — which they are — he’s also banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination.” said Mangat, also a member of the physicians’ committee. “He has taken away private companies’ ability to protect their employees and customers by requiring the safe and readily available vaccine.”
With the delta variant of the coronavirus playing a key role in the surge, the number of COVID-19 infections in Florida jumped from 10,459 cases during the week of June 11 to 45,603 cases during the week of July 9, according to the latest available state data.
Positivity rates have also soared in recent weeks, going from 3.3 percent during the week of June 11 to 11.5 percent the week of July 9.
Meanwhile, the number of people getting vaccinated during that same span dropped by 46 percent.
Also, vaccination rates among some Florida health care workers are among the lowest in the nation. An AARP report said just 42 percent of the state’s nursing home workers had been fully vaccinated as of last month, putting Florida well behind the national average of 56 percent.
The spike in positivity combined with drops in vaccination rates has led to an increase in numbers of patients being hospitalized in Florida facilities. And unlike the first wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations last year that severely affected seniors, hospitals are reporting the newest wave of inpatient hospitalizations involves younger patients.
Baptist Health Jacksonville Chief Medical Officer Timothy Groover said Wednesday that 44 percent of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Baptist Health in the last month were in their 40s or younger.
“COVID-19 is a preventable disease like measles, but herd immunity is quickly slipping out of our reach because a quarter of Americans refuse to get the vaccine,” Mangat said.
–Christine Sexton, News Service of Florida
That’s why I’m voting his dumbass out mini trump
From the article – While St. Petersburg immunologist Mona Mangat said she was glad the governor promoted vaccines as being effective, she worries about his other actions, such as preventing businesses from requiring that people show proof of vaccination — an issue known as banning vaccine “passports.”
I thought Republicans wanted less business regulation – apparently Governor DeTrumpAss and the Republican dominated Florida legislature skipped that lecture in Republican 101 class. If people continue to follow Governor DeTrumpAss and his Republican minions, they will cull the herd of Republican voters.
The dude says
Trump life baby!!!
Ignore reality and choose to peddle a steady stream of contrived grievance and poutrage over sensible and proven science.
The thing about snake oil salesmen is they can’t be successful without the willing rubes.
Florida is a target rich environment when it comes to rubes, easy marks, and low information dullards.
I can’t vote for a Governor that doesn’t care about the lives on the people in his state, let alone for President. He needs to consider another profession because he has done nothing to help the State of Florida and its people.
His idol Trump lost his election for the same reasons, you would have thought DeSantis learned from that but it is obvious he hasn’t.
I used to think NO ONE could be worse than pencil-head, “He’s a good boy.”, CEO & founder of healthcare company Columbia/HCA, admitted to committing 14 felonies & fined $1.7 billion in fines for fraudulent Medicare claims but he didn’t know anything about it, Rick Scott, could be worse. But I’m beginning to now change my mind with Gov Clown DeSantis who will clearly stop at nothing, including selling his soul & the health & welfare of millions of Floridians, to further his political ambitions😡🤮☹️
The Governor’s lack of attention to the spread of Covid-19 will hurt the Economy of the State of Florida since many people who might otherwise want to vacation in Florida, especially in the major cities, will think twice before coming here. While there is a Travel Advisory to the UK, many travel experts say there should also be one to Florida and Texas; two states that are high in the occurrence of Covid-19 and low in the rate of vaccinations. Mr. Governor if the Economy falters you cannot blame the Democrats. Just look in the mirror and blame the face you see. Voters…remember this lack of judgment when you cast your Vote and, especially, when Taxes like Property and Sales must increase to make up the shortfall.
The current leader of the Fl repugnants in Title only will surely continue to contradict in blind Hypocrisy. rondon DeathSantis will earn his moniker this go around.
Just compare were Florida is compared to States that locked down. We are better off. Get your vaccine if you choose, stay in your house with two masks on, drive in your care alone with your mask on, live your life in fear and succumb to the fear porn. Our Governor protected the most vulnerable and saved our economy too. And our current President lets millions flow across our border everyday without any testing and your idiots ignore it. Don’t Fauci my Florida.
Not talking about a lockdown genius, some simple steps, masks,distancing a vaccine . You shouldnt get vaccinated. No one is staying home in fear and thats why some aforementioned steps could curb the spread. Our Gov. is a trump humper like you worthless in your comments and redundant meaningless statements.So now testing is a big deal for you because it serves your persistent bullshit. Walking contradiction.Hypocrite. Dont you have some crowd to hang out in.
HELLOOOO FOOL! FLORIDA HAS THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS thanks to fools like you who refuse to get a vaccination or wear a mask!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Think we are going to shed a tear when you infect one of your family members due to your total lack of empathy towards others?? What comes around goes around buddy. Karma is headed your way.
Why would anyone blame DeSantis ? Going to any pharmacy USA is an individual accountability & responsibility. Sooner or later the herd is going to have to step up and own herd immunity for themselves. This is the same problem too many individuals never own in their personal lives. I vaccinated to placate Biden-Harris & Fauci. After the misery of 2020 economically, why anyone wouldn’t get vaccinated is a head scratcher. Never had Covid confirmed by test kit before 5/14 & after 5/14 vaccination, who is to say I’d ever get it as asymptomatic or catastrophic ? I took the J&J Jannsen vaccine. 1 & done shot, I did it with skepticism that day and I still am skeptical. I just don’t see anyone up & down my street living any different than they did 3 years ago, nobody hospitalized or dead, the only death was a man that collapsed & had a heart attack in 2019. I didn’t take any medications and didn’t see any faux vaccine symptoms in the 1st 48 hours. For a few days after that I’ve had cold & flu, allergies in pollen season in FL that were worse. After 5-7 days I’d say I was back to pre-vaccination health. Since the vaccine doesn’t give you Covid, you can wander the community without fear of being a carrier even. The vaccine only stimulates your immune system to fight it. That’s the entire premise of herd immunity is that everyone’s immune system has been vaccinated & exposed to a relatively harmless simulation of a mild Covid case. If you have a comorbidity, that’s likely to be the cause of illness or death, the vaccine would only trigger a heart attack or stroke in an individual that is a heart attack & stroke candidate anyway. Ask yourself, when did the flu vaccine ever prevent a flu season ? Same holds with the Covid vaccines.
Just me, free vaccines, regardless of age, go down and get it. 98% survive Covid without vaccination, 99.9999999999… % or better survive the vaccine. Pretty much the same Vegas odds ? We’re back to the individual taking accountability & responsibility in a world that guarantees nothing. What if a shark eats you in the ocean or a rattlesnake in the yard bites. What if a lightning strike hits you, we are in that season too.
FAKE FACTS: You obviously have not checked the REAL scientific facts before you shot your mouth off. Scientific fallacies in your tirade: #1: Talk to hospital doctors and researchers and they will tell you: people ARE getting Covid-19 after getting the vaccinations due to the mutations of the original virus, which are being spread by UNVACCINATED people. If most people were vaccinated, the Delta Variant would not be so wide spread and transmissible. #2: Flu vaccines are prepared a year in advance based upon PREDICTIONS of what the predominant Flu type MAY be in a particular year. For instance, will it be Influenza A or Influenza B or will a novel Influenza C pop up? Invariably some predictions fall short and a different variant pops up and people end up getting influenza due to the flu vaccine not covering the predominant strain that is circulating. Does Influenza kill? YES IT DOES!!! My brother died of Influenza at age
54. Guess what? He did not believe in getting a flu shot! What a price to pay for that type of reckless disregard for himself and other. Our family is still suffering repercussions for his selfish decision. #3: This mentality of “Herd Immunity” is crazy. You might as well just say “I don’t care if you die” to all of the people you come in contact with. It is correctly termed as “survival of the fittest”. I guess another way to think of it is that it will cull all of the those unvaccinated idiots out of the herd. However, if you are foolish enough to choose not to get vaccinated or wear a mask, think about your family and friends who you may unknowingly infect. Which one will you pick for elimination? Your grandmother, your grandchild or child, your wife, your best friend??? Let’s take Vegas odds on that!!! Florida currently is leading the nation in hospitalizations and infections with Covid-19 Delta variant cases. All hospitals are at capacity and are turning away patients, and once again are not doing surgeries that are not considered life threatening situations. Comments like yours may be meant to be facetious, but in reality it just encourages people to NOT get vaccinated or wear masks. That my friend is what may kill even those “who did the right thing”. I for one am now sitting at home, masking up everywhere I absolutely have to go, trying to avoid others like the plague. What a way to live! All due to those idiots who refuse to get vaccinated….
Eileen Araujo says
Don;t blame our Governor, blame all the stupid people who refuse to be vaccinated….get real people
Uh, yeah, lets DO blame “Deathsantis”. HE is the one who wanted the state wide open again in the worship of the almighty tourism dollar. Examples: funneling the vaccine to his “rich buddies” (proven to be in the county where the ex-president and his family now reside), refusing to reveal accurate statistics regarding the rate of infection in the state, making sure the state blocked community based decisions to have mask mandates or shut down due to pockets of widespread infection in their particular communities or counties, blocking schools from continuing safety measures based upon their local community situations, filing a law suit against cruise lines who are requiring proof of vaccinations, refusing to enforce airline restrictions “vaccination passports”, yelling don’t “Fauci-ize” us when someone tried to bring up that Florida now leads the nation in Covid infections and hospitalizations. And the list goes on and on!!! Wow! Your comment is really off base! Yes, the unvaccinated fools are the ones spreading the deadly Delta Variant, but where did they get the message that everything was now hunky-dory and the pandemic was over in Florida and it was now safe to run around unvaccinated and unmasked? The buck stops at Deathsantis’s desk !!!!
It is amazing how people continue bashing our past President. President Trump was the one who speeded up the process of getting the vaccine out to the public. Let’s focus on the real issue. It is the unvaccinated. COVID 19 Vaccine should be mandatory period.
Tired of this says
He was also the one that lied about tthe virus and its danger for months. He was the one that disbanded the pandemic task force. He was the one that ignored the pandemic handbook. He was the one that promoted false cures. He was the one that allowed 800 tons of PPE supplies to be shipped to China while our own hospitals were begging for them. He was the one who failed to ensure the national stockpile was not depleted. He was the one that denied PPE supplies to states with Democratic governors. And it is him and his followers, like the FAUX talking heads and Desantis who continue to encourage people to avoid getting vaccinated. 600,000 dead Americans on his watch.
No, he diddled around for months, then wanted to inject bleach and stick a light up peoples ass.
I concur those that refuse vaccination are the issue.
Look in the mirror people, if you haven’t been vaccinated, IT’s ON YOU. You are the problem, not the governor, not the president, not you next door neighbor, you are the problem.
PC Anon says
The governor does not make the decision for other people to get vaccinated. It is up to them. If people don’t want to get vaccinated, then so be it, but it is those people to blame. And I’m sorry, the vaccine passport is ridiculous. might as well throw HHIPA out the window! It’s not mandatory to get any other vaccine, but is highly recommended by some health care professionals.
This state and country are filled with sheep that cant walk and think for themselves. Sure DeSantis is only looking at the dollars but people need to make up their own mine. The gov never said Don’t Get Vaccinated” , but people are so nuts on the govt pushing drugs that we have people dying from stupidity, from listening to nutcases talk about how bad the vaccine is on Facebook and on Forums and new papers columns. Do what you think is the best for you and only you, hell you might make a good decision and not die from Covid.
Newscasters and the president along with the public, senators and congressman are all arguing over “masks”, while thousands of sick people flood through our borders wearing no mask. The sick illegal immigrants are being dropped off around various places in the USA. Nobody’s doing anything to stop it. Do we pay our senators and congressman to sit on their hands. Where’s the national guard? This is why we have a national guard. Has everyone lost their minds. End the flow of sick people going through our borders – “masks” are a distraction from the real root of Covid 19 and the variant. The American people are being manipulated.