The rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida is setting off alarms for some health officials. This comes side by side with concern that the state’s lack of precautions is to blame for the setback. Cases have been steadily rising over the last week in the Sunshine State with 4198 new cases recorded on Thursday. The Palm Beach Post quotes, Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami cardiologist:
“It feels like we’re back where we started at the beginning of the summer. As a physician, it’s not a good feeling. As a Florida resident and a father, it’s downright despicable.”
The newspaper goes on to say:
During a virtual press conference, Ashby and other doctors blasted DeSantis for following the lead of his Republican ally, President Donald Trump, and downplaying the pandemic instead of taking steps to keep residents safe.
“By following Trump’s lead and refusing to follow the science, Governor DeSantis is once again making the pandemic worse in our already hard-hit state,” said Dr. Jennifer Cowart, an internist in Jacksonville. “You don’t have to be a doctor to think that with nearly 17,000 of our fellow Floridians already dead, our governor should be taking every step possible to save more lives and livelihoods.”
And there are no signs that DeSantis is going to do anything to help curb the spread. Actually, it seems quite the opposite. The Sun-Sentinel writes, “Faced with numbers he doesn’t like but can’t control, DeSantis seems prepared to hide or rig the numbers. That would be his most irresponsible move yet.”
With numbers rising, the governor also may shift from daily reports to weekly updates. Compiling those daily counts takes a lot of staff time, the governor’s apologist told an Orlando television station. “Information won’t change,” he said.
Such a move would be about optics and politics, not public health. Potential outbreaks require quick responses. But we’re in the last days of voting, and every bad number makes DeSantis – and thus President Trump – look bad as Trump tries to claim that Florida is “rounding the corner.”
Indeed, instead of working around the deal with the coronavirus cases, DeSantis appeared at a rally in Tampa Thursday where few masks and barely any social distancing was witnessed (watch above).
For the 3rd day in a row, Florida reported 4,000+ new coronavirus cases. Nearly 17,000 are dead here from COVID while super-spreaders @GovRonDeSantis and Trump gleefully violate their own public health protocols. This is reckless, irresponsible and disqualifying behavior.😷 pic.twitter.com/xf3cgx8lLZ
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) October 29, 2020
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the highest-ranking Democrat in the state wrote:
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) October 30, 2020