Headline RoundupDecember 7th, 2021

Perspectives: Florida's COVID-19 Situation

Summary from the AllSides News Team

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.

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