Gov. DeSantis: Rising COVID-19 deaths in Florida ‘a really terrible thing’

By Scott Powers
September 2, 2021

But he expressed no direct sympathy or remorse.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that the rising COVID-19 death toll in Florida is “a really terrible thing,” but he focused on preventing future deaths rather than talking about the thousands of Floridians who have died recently.

DeSantis was in Viera to continue his tour promoting monoclonal antibody treatment as a way to greatly temper COVID-19 infections and reduce the risk of death.

He was asked if he had words to share with Florida families affected by recent COVID-19 deaths, as Florida has suffered a significant increase in recent weeks.

DeSantis said it was “a really sad thing.” But he expressed no sympathy or condolences toward families, nor any remorse regarding the skyrocketing numbers of people dying of COVID-19 in Florida recently. He skirted the subject briefly then moved on to talk about the treatment he has been promoting as an alternative to death.

Last week, more than 1,800 new Florida deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported, a record week for the state. The week before, more than 1,500 deaths were reported. When final reports come in, August likely will be the worst month to date for reported COVID-19 fatalities in Florida, for the entire 18-month long pandemic. Florida’s numbers of deaths far exceed what has been seen recently in any other state.

“I think it’s been a rough time. I think there are people who have been affected all across this state. I think it’s been a really terrible thing,” DeSantis said.

But he pivoted to what his administration is doing. For the past three weeks, DeSantis has been barnstorming the state opening free monoclonal antibody treatment clinics and promoting their use as a treatment that can greatly reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

“I think what we’re trying to do is say, ‘OK, what was not being done? Where was the gap?’ And the biggest gap was in the early treatment. So I am confident there are people being availed of this who will have better outcomes as a result of that,” DeSantis said.

His response to a question on families dealing with COVID-19 deaths was in sharp contrast to comments Wednesday from one of his sharpest critics, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who’s running for the Democratic nomination to take on DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Fried on Wednesday oversaw a moment of silence for the 45,000 total people in Florida who now have died of COVID-19, noting they include children, daughters, husbands, teachers, health care workers, and more who have died.

“We keep talking about these numbers that I report every single day, and there just needs to be a time when we sit back, and we recognize how many of our fellow Floridians we have lost to this war,” Fried told reporters.

In Viera, DeSantis pointed out four guests, people who had gotten COVID-19, received the monoclonal treatment, and recovered in a day or two.

“I think it’s a really sad thing, when you think,” he said of the deaths. “Now we have people standing here with us who may not have been here were it not for this treatment.”

He said those dying tend to be unvaccinated and have not received the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“You look beyond, and you see the tools we have and the statistics. You see people admitted to hospitals, and you see the mortality,” he said. “Those tend to be folks who were not vaccinated prior to being infected. And they also were folks who, by and large, did not get the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives.”


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Mark Tomes
Trusted Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
2 years ago

DeSantis, his family, his friends, his campaign donors, all must somehow be profiting from hospital treatments of Covid. There’s no other explanation for the incredible hypocrisy in his statements that we must be saving lives and yet he’s not pushing the vaccine.

Teri D. Springer
Teri D. Springer (@guest_62401)
2 years ago
Reply to  Anne Dunlap

As always…..follow the money.

Wendy Maher
Wendy Maher (@guest_62394)
2 years ago

What ever happened to non-biased reporting? Even your own account has Fried “sitting back” un like our governor who is out there trying to promote treatment for those who choose a different path then he. Must we all be robots and think the same way? Lucky for us Einstein, Ford, Tesla did not think so.

F. Hunter
F. Hunter (@guest_62397)
2 years ago
Reply to  Wendy Maher

I agree. But notice the printed line just beneath the words “Fernandina Observer” at the top of the page, ie “A Journal of News and Opinion.” So, the FO is saying outright to expect “opinion” to be among the articles they publish here.

Joseph Kayne
Joseph Kayne(@jay-kayne)
2 years ago
Reply to  Wendy Maher

Ms. Maher, I guess your definition of “sitting back” does not include the fact Fried has been holding regular public briefing, open to all meeting, streamed on Facebook since July. At the July 29 briefing she announced the Department of Agriculture would post daily COVID numbers if DeSantis continued to suppress the information.

We are not asking you to be robots. If you were, I would agree you do not need a vaccine. Nikki Fried also is not a robot. She has been out there since the start of the latest surge instead of accepting the Governor’s declaration that everything is just fine.

Teri D. Springer
Teri D. Springer (@guest_62400)
2 years ago
Reply to  Wendy Maher

Promoting treatment? Seriously?? How about promoting PREVENTION??? The only reason he’s out there now is he finally realized the people dying a the highest rate were his supporters.

Edward Kelly
Edward Kelly (@guest_62403)
2 years ago

Ron DeSantis has handled the Covid situation, from start to now, better than any other Governor in the USA. The end. He has perfectly balanced the health aspect with the individual freedom aspect.

Richard Norman Kurpiers
Richard Norman Kurpiers (@guest_62407)
2 years ago
Reply to  Edward Kelly

You might want to retract that claim after looking at Vermont’s Gov. Phil Scott’s handling of the Covid pandemic.