By Renzo Downey
FloridaPolitics.Com
August 3, 2021

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Cases and hospitalizations are hitting record rates in Florida despite access to the vaccine.

With COVID-19 hospitalizations hitting a record high in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is criticizing those who publicly blame unvaccinated people who end up hospitalized.

The Governor’s comments come amid media critiques that his administration isn’t doing enough to promote the vaccine among resistant individuals. Meanwhile, federal data released Tuesday showed Florida hitting a record 11,515 patients hospitalized in one day. Moreover, 2,400 of those patients are in ICU beds.

Only 61% of eligible individuals in Florida have received at least one COVID-19 shot. That number skews lower for younger populations.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and others have blamed unvaccinated individuals for “propagating” the Delta variant, which is more contagious than previous strands of the COVID-19 virus. On Tuesday, the Governor attacked the media and “quote ‘experts’” who have blamed hospitalized individuals for getting sick.

“With all due respect, I find that deplorable to blame a victim who ends up being hospitalized,” DeSantis said. “You don’t know their story. You don’t know what happened with that.”

DeSantis’ comments contrast those of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a fellow Republican who defended her state’s low vaccination rates last month, expressed her frustration against her state’s unvaccinated residents.

“Folks (are) supposed to have common sense, but it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks,” she said. “It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

Most individuals who have been recently hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Yet vaccines have been free and widely available for months.

“I’m sick of the judgmental stuff on some of this stuff,” DeSantis said. “Nobody’s trying to get ill here, OK? There’s people that were hermits for a year and a half, that wore six masks and did that and still contracted it, OK? So let’s just be real here, and let’s not indulge these things that somehow it’s their fault for not doing it.”

The Governor has opposed mask mandates at any level of government. Some school districts have moved to require masks to help control the spread because the vaccine is unavailable for those younger than 12. But on Friday, DeSantis issued an executive order forbidding school mask requirements after hinting at a possible Special Session to outlaw mask requirements in schools.

DeSantis on Tuesday also accused the media of trying to fearmonger over the number of rising hospitalizations. Echoing comments from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio from the day prior, DeSantis added that “media hysteria” caused individuals sick with other conditions to stay away from hospitals last year during the initial wave of the pandemic.

“Literally, people are having heart attacks at home because they thought that there weren’t either not enough room in the hospital or they thought that they would get COVID and die as a result of that,” DeSantis said.

He noted that some places around the state have fewer hospitalized individuals than during previous waves. But after his press conference, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed Florida setting its hospitalization record.

The media “fixates on cases,” he added. The Governor continued to highlight emergency room visits for illnesses like COVID-19 as his preferred metric for tracking the pandemic.

Before launching into his defense of unvaccinated individuals, DeSantis said vaccines have helped reduce infections and the severity of infections in breakthrough cases — those who get sick despite getting the shot. There have been about 25,000 breakthrough cases, according to the Governor.

The Governor’s endorsement of the vaccine was partly to lower expectations that the vaccine will fully protect people from illness, which he said had the assumption.

DeSantis expects the virus to “nose over” before resurging in the winter.

Like he’s done since ending Florida’s COVID-19 lockdown early in the pandemic, the Governor criticized calls to shut down schools and businesses.

“These interventions have failed time and time again throughout this pandemic — not just in the United States, but abroad — they have not stopped the spread,” DeSantis said. “Particularly with Delta, which is even more transmissible, if it didn’t stop it before, it definitely ain’t gonna stop it now.”

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Nancy Dickson
Nancy Dickson
1 year ago

Folks who refuse to get vaccinated, catch the virus and die are just as much to blame for their death as folks who refuse to wear seat belts, get in an auto accident and die. Those who refuse to get vaccinated and then catch the virus and infect others who die are just as responsible as someone who shoots and kills.

Threatening to defund schools who try to protect students and teachers by outlawing mask mandates is another bid on DeSantis’ part to keep Florida in the top 5 states for virus cases and deaths. It’s a list where being #1 is not a good thing.

This is a deadly virus and no amount of politicizing and lying is going to bring back to life the 100 Floridians (mostly unvaccinated) who died yesterday of a largely preventable disease. 100 deaths in one day and this was not our record number.

Helen Rayner
Helen Rayner
1 year ago

The Governor says do not blame

the unvaccinated victim of COVID.

Can I blame the Governor for the

’never wore a mask’ victim, please?

John Whitlow
John Whitlow
1 year ago

According to the CDC Vaccinated people carry an equal if not higher viral load than non vaccinated.

https://news.yahoo.com/cdc-says-fully-vaccinated-people-201508057.html

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne
1 year ago
Reply to  John Whitlow

Mr. Whitlow, if you’re going to use a source, please quote them accurately. There is nothing in the article that suggests viral load in vaccinated people is higher. Here’s the exact quote, “Walensky said CDC investigations have found that the amount of virus present in vaccinated people infected with Delta is similar to the levels found in unvaccinated people with Delta infections.”

Why is that? Because nasal passages are the most likely place for the Delta variant to reside. Therefore, a nasal swab will pick up that presence even if it never enters the rest of the body. And while it is highly unlikely that a vaccinated individual will be hospitalized or die, the virus is still transmittable. Thus the justification for masks. When I, a vaccinated person, wear a mask, there is less chance of spreading the potential load in my nasal passages to others. And if a non-vaccinated person wears a mask, they are less likely to be infected.

There is a reason virtually every new hospitalization and death occur among unvaccinated individuals who refuse to mask up. It’s not even science. It’s just common sense and logic.

John Whitlow
John Whitlow
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph Kayne

Thank you Mr. Kayne being new to online commenting I do stumble at times.

lets try( masks and respirators do not work)

https://principia-scientific.com/why-masks-dont-work-against-covid-19/

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne
1 year ago
Reply to  John Whitlow

Since you admit you stumbled in your previous post, can I assume you would have checked out “Principia-Scientific” and its philosophy based on the teachings of Karl Popper. But I doubt it. If you had, you would have learned he believed that all science is conjecture per the following description on Wikipedia. “He also held that scientific theory, and human knowledge generally, is irreducibly conjectural or hypothetical, and is generated by the creative imagination to solve problems that have arisen in specific historico-cultural settings.” In other words, he believed there were no FACTS. Not surprising that anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers would be drawn to websites based on his teachings..

John Whitlow
John Whitlow
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph Kayne

Thanks again Sir.

Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes
1 year ago

DeSantis uses hyperbole and half-truths to promote his political agenda. When 95% or more of new Covid cases are unvaccinated people, yes, we can blame them for spreading the virus. People have different reasons for not getting vaccinated, but surveys, and my own conversations with people, show most unvaccinated people are misinformed (intentionally or otherwise). Be a true American – get the shot.

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