DeSantis, also known as Governor DeathSentence, tells the Floridians that they duck sit while the delta rises
Florida is now ground zero for runaway COVID-19 infection rates, and thanks to DeSantis, a case study of how an elected official can plunge a state into a worst-case scenario. DeSantis has deliberately tied the hands of local officials and educators by executive order to mandate the wearing of masks. He's also failed to get a high-profile vaccination boost, despite admitting that vaccines save lives.
The deadly combination has resulted in Florida becoming the sickly blood-red appendage on U.S. COVID-19 heat maps. Here's a visualization of how the Sunshine State went from bright orange on July 17th to scorching hot on August 7th.
On Thursday, White House COVID Response Team Coordinator Jeff Zients highlighted Florida's dire status during a briefing at the White House.
"In the past week, Florida had more Covid cases than all of the 30 lowest-case states combined," Zients said, "and Florida and Texas alone accounted for nearly 40% of new hospital admissions across the country."
By far, DeSantis' worst move, however, was to leave children who cannot get vaccinated 100% defenseless against infection when they return to school by banning universal masking requirements in school. At the same time, Delta is bringing more children and sicker children to intensive care units than ever before during the pandemic.
"It appears that pediatric patients are much sicker than they were last year," said Anthony Sanders, nurse manager in the pediatric intensive care unit Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, said Miami's NBC 6 South Florida Station. "What is noticeable to us is the increase in the number of people subject to admission."
According to NBC 6, "Last week, 13,596 children under the age of 12 tested positive nationwide, 21% of those tested. A month earlier it was 2,094, less than 8% of those tested. That's 550% more cases. "
National hospital admissions for children also rose 520% in the last month, with 341 under 18 admitted last week.
Universal masking in schools has been studied and is highly effective in preventing transmission, even if transmission is widespread in the community.
According to a comprehensive study of schools in North Carolina, Dr. Danny Benjamin, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Duke Health said: "We found that despite the extremely widespread COVID in communities in North Carolina, the odds of one child infecting another are less than 1 percent with universal masking."
It's downright staggeringly effective.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden lamented that masking – a public health measure – had become so politicized.
“This is not about politics. It's about protecting our children, "Biden said during a press conference at the White House.
Biden also showed solidarity with health care workers, educators and local officials trying to protect children from the worst effects of the delta surge.
"The mayors, school principals, educators, local leaders who oppose the governors who politicize mask protection for our children – thank you," said Biden. "Thank God we have heroes like you, and I stand by you all, and America should too."
The bottom line here is that DeSantis and other GOP governors are risking children's lives to score political points in their search for the party's 2024 nomination. In the meantime, the Floridians are paying the price. DeSantis may think that depravity is good policy in a Republican primary, and sadly, he might be right considering how radicalized the GOP has become.
But in a general election, killing your voters for political reasons is a risky bet. The Lincoln Project is already previewing what the political attack ads might look like with their "Back to School" ad. As you watch, just imagine an accompanying DeSantis Soundbite that says, "These waves are something you just have to grapple with."
While watching a video of a child playing on a ventilator, the ad said, "If you could prevent this, wouldn't you?"
Not if you're morally bankrupt like Ron DeSantis or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Lower Austria.