In a White House COVID-19 briefing on Friday, coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters that 40 percent of all the virus cases last week were reported in four states and 1 out of 5 cases occurred in Florida. The Sunshine State has been experiencing among the highest rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths per capita.
Zients added that that the nation would most likely experience an increase in the number of COVID cases in the next few weeks. He also said that the cases would be more prevalent in communities where the number of vaccinated people was low as the Delta variant spreads across the U.S.
The White House adviser also said that unvaccinated Americans accounted for virtually all the recent hospitalization and deaths due to the coronavirus. He said that each death was tragic and recent deaths were more tragic as they might have been prevented if those people had been vaccinated.
According to federal data, Florida has also seen a high positivity rate close to 10 percent with a weekly average of more than 5,600 per day. There were 59 new deaths reported on Friday, for the week. The total number of fatalities in Florida stand at 38,388.
The Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has not followed the guidelines of federal health authorities in Florida. Schools were not shut and very few measures were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In fact, his campaign team recently began selling “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merchandise. Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the leading infectious diseases experts in the nation and has been the force behind the federal masking guidelines and lockdowns.
On one hand Governor Roy DeSantis has encouraged Floridians to get vaccinated. Around 55 percent of the eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one dose. However, on the other hand he has banned businesses from asking for proof of vaccination. He has also prevented local governments from enforcing mandatory use of masks.
Since, Mayor Jerry Demings, Orange County, Florida has requested residents to mask up in indoor crowded places, regardless of their vaccinated status.
On a national level, DeSantis was successful in his suit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He blocked the federal government from enacting coronavirus precautionary measures on cruise ships including the need for staff and passengers to be vaccinated.
Photo-Center for American Progress