Perspectives: Florida's COVID-19 Situation

Headline Roundup December 7th, 2021

A low rate of new COVID-19 cases, the governor's pandemic-era policies and the Omicron variant have thrust Florida's COVID-19 situation into the spotlight once again.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is known for supporting looser COVID-19 regulations and standing against government-enforced vaccine and mask mandates. As of Tuesday, the average number of new COVID-19 cases each day in Florida per 100,000 residents is eight, the second-lowest rate of any state according to the New York Times (Lean Left bias). New Hampshire (95), Michigan (86) and Minnesota (84) have the three highest rates per capita. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Florida dropped from 24,527 in mid-August to 1,793 this week, a decrease of 93%. The national average fell 15% over the same span.

COVID-19 in Florida and DeSantis's handling of it have been a focus of media coverage throughout the pandemic. Coverage from left- and center-rated sources generally frame DeSantis's pandemic policies and stances as questionable, especially with news of the U.S.'s first case of the Omicron variant. Left-rated voices tend to frame DeSantis's COVID-19 messaging as risky or politicized. An article from The Guardian highlights doctors who say the Omicron variant could present Florida's pandemic policies with a tough test. Coverage from right-rated outlets often highlights Florida's low rate of COVID-19 cases and contrasts it with higher rates in Democrat-led states, framing that as evidence of extensive pandemic restrictions being ineffective and accusing mainstream media of ignoring that perspective.

From the Left

Barely one month ago, Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis was on a victory lap. The state’s average rate of new Covid-19 infections was the lowest in the nation, and a lapdog legislature was about to sign into law his sweeping new coronavirus measures, including the outlawing of mask and vaccine mandates in pursuit of “striking a blow for freedom”.

There was no mention of the 61,500 Floridians who have lost their lives to the virus.

Now, with the highly transmissible Omicron variant gaining a foothold in the US and likely already present in Florida, doctors say, the robustness of the...

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From the Center

Over the past year, Florida and other Republican-led states have resisted federal measures to curb the COVID pandemic due to concerns over infringing on individual freedoms.

Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers have recently pushed back against what DeSantis has called "heavy-handed" COVID mandates, passing legislation to prohibit private employers from requiring vaccines and schools from requiring masks.

George Papadopoulos, a former advisor to President Donald Trump and a conservative author, this week shared an article stating that Florida, which has resisted measures intended to curb the pandemic, is currently experiencing the lowest per capita COVID...

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From the Right

A large Florida hospital has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

On Thursday, AdventHealth — headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and treating patients in eight other states — will no longer force its 83,000 employees to be immunized, although it still encouraged vaccination.

“Based on scientific evidence and what we see in our hospitals every day, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at reducing both the risk of becoming infected and the level of harm in the case of a breakthrough infection,” AdventHealth said in a statement. “As part of our commitment to...

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