Tuesday, 20 April 2021

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

 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

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

California, which has pursued aggressive lockdowns, has roughly the same per capita death toll as Florida, with 154 deaths per 100,000 versus Florida's 160 per 100,000

California, which has pursued aggressive lockdowns, has roughly the same per capita death toll as Florida, with 154 deaths per 100,000 versus Florida's 160 per 100,000 

Over the last week, there has been a 27% decline in deaths. 61,000 have died in Florida

Over the last week, there has been a 27% decline in deaths. 61,000 have died in Florida 

The number of cases is down 12% over the last week with around 2,375 on average

The number of cases is down 12% over the last week with around 2,375 on average

However, over the last month, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of infections being detected with around 6,700 new cases a day and around 65 deaths a day. 2,197 are in hospital

However, over the last month, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of infections being detected with around 6,700 new cases a day and around 65 deaths a day. 2,197 are in hospital

ICU capacity has remained in the medium to high range since the fall of 2020

ICU capacity has remained in the medium to high range since the fall of 2020

'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 in states which stuck to their respective lockdowns. 

The virus peaked in Florida at the start of January and has followed a steady decline until very recently. 


Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci has led efforts to control the virus but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has grown frustrated with him

Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci has led efforts to control the virus but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has grown frustrated with him

Even with tens of thousands of youngsters arriving for Spring Break partying, the state did not see any significant rebound in infections.

However, over the last month, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of infections being detected with around 6,700 new cases a day and around 65 deaths a day. 


'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.

Last week, DeSantis, a strong supporter of former president Donald Trump and himself a potential presidential candidate, sued President Joe Biden's administration over its stance on the cruise industry, while also signaling to Florida media that his ban on 'vaccine passports' would preclude cruise ships from requiring vaccinations. 

Cruise travel was one of the early victims of the pandemic, and live television broadcasts of the arrival of liners carrying Covid-infected passengers were among the first signs of the national emergency the virus was to become. 

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.

Spring breakers begin to descend on Miami for fun and sun
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College students and others descended on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach to make the most of the warm weather and freedom from lockdown thanks to the state's lax restrictions

College students and others descended on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach to make the most of the warm weather and freedom from lockdown thanks to the state's lax restrictions

Crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach in March. Law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists

Crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach in March. Law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists

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. 

With cruise voyages from the United States mostly barred, it remains unclear when the industry will return to normal but the state of Florida is suing the Biden administration

With cruise voyages from the United States mostly barred, it remains unclear when the industry will return to normal but the state of Florida is suing the Biden administration

Gov. DeSantis says Florida will not being doing vaccine passports
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On Friday, DeSantis hit out at the Biden administration for telling the public to keep wearing masks and to maintain social distancing even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

‘My view is if you get a vaccine, the vaccines are effective, you’re immune, and so, act immune,’ the Republican told a crowd in Lakeland, Florida.

‘If you got a vaccine, you’re immune,’ the governor said. ‘You should enjoy yourself and have confidence.’

DeSantis criticized Biden and Dr. Fauci, for ‘terrible’ messaging on the vaccine, saying that keeping in place mitigation measures will discourage wary Americans from getting the shot.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis  earlier hit out at the Biden administration for telling the public to keep wearing masks and to maintain social distancing even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis  earlier hit out at the Biden administration for telling the public to keep wearing masks and to maintain social distancing even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

‘I also think it's a problem that people, where, you're telling people to get a vaccine and yet people who have been vaccinated for months are wearing two masks,’ DeSantis said on Friday.

"If the vaccine is effective, why would you be wearing two masks? Like some of these folks are doing.

‘It doesn't make sense.’

Public health officials in recent weeks have encouraged the public to wear two masks in order to offer protection against coronavirus variants that are believed to be more contagious.

Fauci has been the face of government efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

His support for measures including masks and social distancing has drawn the ire of Republicans who claim that the efforts to kerb the virus have caused damage to the economy.

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