As COVID problems in Florida worsen, DeSantis faces GOP pullback – .

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As COVID problems in Florida worsen, DeSantis faces GOP pullback – .


There is a lot of news related to COVID in Florida, and it is all awful. A week ago this morning, we looked at conditions in the Sunshine State, which had reached crisis levels unprecedented since the start of the pandemic. An NBC News report at the time noted: “The state has become the new national epicenter of the virus.”

Seven days later, things are much worse. Over the weekend, Florida again broke its own record for newly reported coronavirus infections in a single day. COVID-related hospitalizations have also reached an all-time high. Even deaths – often a lagging indicator – have started to climb in the state.

In response, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) adopted a multi-faceted plan. The first step was to take a firm stand against any measures aimed at reducing infections. On one of our recent trips out of state, the Republican governor said, “I think it’s very important that we say, unequivocally, no to blockades, no to school closures. , not to restrictions and not (to) mandates. “

This was quickly followed by DeSantis going after various perceived political enemies, including public health officials, President Joe Biden, journalists and immigrants.

What the governor has refused to do is adopt policies designed to help fight the pandemic. As the New York Times reported this weekend:

Mr DeSantis has been adamant in his approach to the pandemic, refusing to change course or impose restrictions despite uncontrolled spread and increasing hospitalizations – an approach that has forced him to take the biggest risk of his career rising policy.

A Washington Post The report added that the GOP governor is among Republicans who have “decided that the new outbreaks are tolerable and do not require a strong response to quell.”

Passivity in response to tragedy is hard to understand, let alone defend, but it would be a mistake to suggest that DeSantis is literally doing nothing. He has already taken important steps, like preventing local officials from acting alone in an attempt to save lives, preventing communities and businesses in Florida that wish to impose modest restrictions to stem the tide of infections.

Even some members of his party have decided not to condone the governor’s recklessness. Referring to Florida’s ban on mask warrants in schools, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Conceded on CNN yesterday: “I disagree with Governor DeSantis. Local officials should have control here. “

The Louisianan, a medical practitioner, added that “with regard to local conditions, if my hospital is full and my vaccination rate is low and the infection rate is going crazy, we should allow the local authorities to take these decisions are best for their community. . “

It’s a position DeSantis, at least for now, refuses to consider. One can only wonder how much worse conditions are likely to get before the governor changes course.

In at least one case, the Florida Republican has no choice. After DeSantis banned cruise lines from requiring proof of vaccination for passengers – a policy that remains totally bonkers, given how quickly a virus can spread among people confined to a ship – Norwegian Cruise Lines has lodged a complaint.

Yesterday, as reported by NBC News, a federal judge issued an order allowing the company to require passengers to prove they have been vaccinated, ruling that the cruise line would be “irreparably harmed” by the policy. DeSantis.

In mid-March, Politics published a report under the following text: “How Ron DeSantis won the pandemic”. Five months later, those headlines are gone for a reason.

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