Florida top doc: Social distancing may be in place for a year until vaccine developed

By John Haughey
The Center Square
April 15, 2020

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees

(The Center Square, April 14, 2020) – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ news conference Monday featured what can be described as good news in the age of coronavirus: a flattening or “plateau” of new cases and fatalities attributed to COVID-19 in Florida the past week.

It ended, however, in a sobering shoe-drop, when Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees told reporters after DeSantis left that social distancing protocols could be in place until next year.

“Until we get a vaccine, which is a while off, this is going to be our new normal,” Rivkees said, noting a vaccine could be more than a year away.

Rivkees, Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew remained after DeSantis departed the news conference – the first in weeks where all four appeared – to answer reporters’ questions.

Rivkees’ response was to one of those questions. His comments, which don’t jibe with the governor’s hopeful emphasis on lifting restrictions within weeks, were quickly followed by DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré directing questions to Mayhew.

As Mayhew was responding to a question, Ferré and Rivkees left. Ferré returned a short while later, while Rivkees did not.

Earlier, DeSantis and the three others expressed reserved optimism about numbers posted on the state’s COVID-19 webpage that, as of Tuesday morning, reported 21,019 confirmed cases, about 2,841 hospitalizations and 499 deaths.

DeSantis said the state’s positive rate per 1,000 tests is 92.7 and its fatality rate per 1,000 COVID-19 cases is 2.7. Both are below those reported in Texas and California, he said.

The governor said since about 1,300 new cases were reported on consecutive days, April 2-3, the state has reached “a little bit of plateau” with 850 new cases reported Monday and the number of those hospitalized with the disease statewide declining by 25, a nominal number, but a trend in the right direction.

Twenty-nine deaths attributed to the disease were reported Monday, significantly below the 48 Floridians who died from COVID-19 on April 9, the deadliest day for victims of the disease in the state.

Rivkees said further evidence of “plateauing” is the rate of positives among new tests has been around 11 percent every day for the past week with the number of hospitalizations and intensive care unit admittances stabilizing.

He said the state has “7,000 ventilators available,” adding requests for the machines “have been stable for the past week.”

Mayhew said the state’s hospitals overall “are not seeing the rate of increase” some feared “but are confident that they are ready to address any surge. They do not have a level of concern that this will be well beyond the capacity of hospitals to handle this.”

She cautioned: “We need to be vigilant to bend this curve.”

DeSantis attributed the flattening numbers to a dramatic increase in testing, especially in south Florida, home to about 30 percent of the state’s population and more than 60 percent of its COVID-19 cases.

DOH reported Monday that 199,767 tests had been conducted statewide, a ratio of one for every 85 residents, which DeSantis said exceeds South Korea’s “gold standard” of one test for every 200 people.

Before he was whisked away, Rivkees said until a vaccine is developed to prevent person-to-person transmission, current social distancing measures must be maintained.

“As long as we’re going to have COVID in the environment, and this is a tough virus, we’re going to have to practice these measures so that we are all protected,” he said. “I cannot emphasize enough that we cannot let our guard down.”

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Dave Braatz
Dave Braatz (@guest_57259)
3 years ago

It’s these vaccine pushers that make me sick! Of course, how many doctors know jack sh*t about nutrition, or about the countless supplements, eating habits, and lifestyle changes that can greatly increase your resistance to and recovery from pathogens? 64% of the patients who were admitted to the British intensive care units were OBESE. Obesity and virtually all of the other co-morbidities (e.g., hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, and heart disease) that made up ~ 90% of serious Italian cases are preventable (if the patient cared at all for their own health). It seems that the majority of healthy people who are exposed to the virus show no symptoms, or don’t even know they had it. For those out of shape, obese, diabetic couch potatoes who do get very ill, there are a variety of successful treatment options, including hydroxychloroquine plus zinc, intravenous or high oral dose Vitamin C, and countless supplements and herbal remedies that are effective. The latest numbers I saw showed roughly 30% of “recovered” patients had NO ANTIBODIES … and many so-called “recovered” patients also get hit by a second round of infection even after testing negative. Think about the implications: If many people develop NO antibodies, then any plasma treatments to inject donated (but nonexistent) antibodies into serious cases will do no good! And certainly NO VACCINE will work if people don’t develop antibodies in spite of how many foreign proteins, heavy metals, and known neurotoxins and brain-destroyers such as mercury and aluminum are also injected as “adjuvants”. – Not to forget to mention that the US Supreme Court has judged vaccines to be “unavoidably dangerous”, and NONE of the evil vaccine promoters in the world can be held liable for any harm they cause, regardless of how many needless deaths and injuries they are responsible for. Wake the hell up, people!

Lastly, the lockdown and shelter-in-place orders themselves are unlawful and unconstitutional. We need to resist this oppression, and to band together to promote a class action lawsuit against our local and State tyrants: https://www.aier.org/article/why-arent-americans-suing-their-way-out-of-lockdown/