What’s the right way to deal with the coronavirus? Shut things down? Let the business-as-usual herd become immune?
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has an idea, and he flaunted it Tuesday at the White House — in the face of the previously-naysaying media.
Apparently, the guy thinks a measured approach is best. And one that takes things area-by-area.
While seated beside the President, Ron ripped the press over its doom-and-gloom predictions related to his leadership of the Sunshine State.
Ron refused to completely close Florida, and he was grilled for it. But now look at the results: The state’s outperforming others in terms of slowing the spread.
Florida has done better than anyone predicted. We have a big, diverse state that requires a tailored and measured approach. Data and science have helped us flatten the curve in a safe way. pic.twitter.com/x3VGLGjlE4
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 29, 2020
A reporter asked him about the fierce criticism he took for his unCalifornia approach (MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle didn’t like it; see RedState’s Sister Toldjah’s write-up).
Here’s his fierce response:
“What have the results been? You look at some of the most draconian orders that have been issued in some of these states and compare Florida in terms of our hospitalizations per 100,000, in terms of our fatalities per 100,000. I mean, you go from D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, you name it. Florida’s done better.”
He said he wasn’t downing those places for their management of things, but the media had predicted the land of Mickey Mouse and Miami Vice would become another New York or Italy.
“[T]hat has not happened, because we understood we have a big, diverse state. We understood the outbreak was not uniform throughout the state, and we had a tailored and measured approach that not only helped our numbers be way below what anyone predicted but also did less damage to our state going forward.”
For some completely paralyzed by a clampdown, that “going forward” thing’s gonna be a doozy.
Florida didn’t ignore the virus; people stayed home. But it wasn’t a complete closure. Road projects, for example, continued.
As I covered April 3rd, he also allowed worship services to continue.
And the beaches have opened.
As reported by Fox News, DeSantis is looking at easing the lockdown further.
All things considered, his numbers are good:
“We’ve had people in the hospital, but I am now in a situation where I have less than 500 people at a state of 22 million on ventilators as of last night. And I have 6,500 ventilators that are sitting idle, unused throughout the state of Florida.”
The governor noted that Florida had conducted contact tracing in the early days of the pandemic, and that the state had focused on select areas to prevent the spread. Moving forward, he explained, at-risk populations will be a field of concentration.
But not everyone among the palm trees is ready for a return to normal: According to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, 72% of Floridians don’t think social distancing rules should be loosened. Ninety percent of Democrats, 55% of Republicans, and 69% of independents believe the guidelines should remain for the month of May.
As for international air-traveling incomers — particularly from South American countries such as Brazil — Ron suggested they should be tested before boarding the plane. But he’s “not necessarily going to cut them off.”
In my opinion, the approach sounds reasonable, and it’s obviously worked for Florida. There’s no such thing as “One Size Fits All,” and perhaps a health crisis — like other legislative, executive, and judicial issues — is best dealt with locally rather than the same across an entire state, much less a nation.
But some in the press are going to grill any state for not closings in every way possible — they need to continue the narrative in their battle against Trump: He’s killing America by not doing enough. Until they cook him over the economy: He’s killing America by doing too much.
What do you think of Florida’s management of things? Particularly you Floridians?
Let us all know in the Comments section.
See a few more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.