Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed he will “act swiftly” if the Biden administration imposes a travel restriction on his state, which is open for business while maintaining relatively low COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates.
“The recent report that the Biden administration is considering restricting the travel of Floridians is completely absurd, especially when Biden allows illegal aliens to pour across our southern border,” he said.
“We won’t allow Floridians to be unfairly targeted for political purposes.”
See the governor’s remarks:
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday the Biden administration is considering whether to impose domestic travel restrictions, including on Florida, “fearful that coronavirus mutations are threatening to reverse hard-fought progress on the pandemic.”
The recent report that the Biden administration is considering restricting the travel of Floridians is completely absurd, especially when Biden allows illegal aliens to pour across our southern border. We won’t allow Floridians to be unfairly targeted for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/h47AVuof50
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 11, 2021
Former CIA operative Larry C. Johnson, who lives in Florida, cited the latest numbers for patients hospitalized with COVID compared to November and December.
In December, the percentage of patients hospitalized with COVID at nearby Sarasota Memorial Hospital was 10.3%, he noted in a post on the Gateway Pundit blog. That number now is 6.27%.
Further, the seven-day positivity rate has gone down from 5.4% in November to 3.2% in February.
The death rate also has gone down. From Nov. 17 to Feb. 10, the average number of deaths is only 1 per day.
Johnson said Biden’s handlers are upset that DeSantis is not “playing the fear game.”
“Florida is open for business and we have something approaching a normal, pre-COVID life,” he said.
He said Republican governors should go on the offensive.
“They should require every hospital to collect and publish data along the lines of what Sarasota Memorial Hospital puts out every day,” he said.
Johnson said he’s not saying that COVID is not a real, serious disease.
“But it is not the only disease that threatens life and we should not be bullied into sacrificing our Constitutional rights just because some out of touch bureaucrats buried in the bowels of Washington try to tell you where you can worship and who you can hang out with,” he wrote.
‘We’ve got your back’
DeSantis was criticized last September for lifting the coronavirus lockdowns in his state after consulting with renowned epidemiologists, but two weeks ago he was touting the success of the policy, assuring workers and parents of schoolchildren “we’ve got your back.”
“Every Floridian has the right to earn a living. Florida is open, and we’ve got your back,” he said on Jan. 31.
DeSantis said that while “so many other states kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up” and is “better” for it.
“If you work in a restaurant, we have your back. If you’re a hairstylist, we protect your right to earn a living,” he said. “And if you are a parent, we ensure your kids have the right to attend school in person. Lockdowns do not work. School closures have been disastrous yet even today we see across our country businesses shuttered, lives ruined, and schools closed.”
DeSantis drew criticism for refusing to issue a statewide mask mandate and reopening the state in September. Lately, he’s been criticized for prioritizing seniors, the most vulnnerable population, in vaccine distribution.
Every Floridian has the right to earn a living. Florida is open, and we’ve got your back. pic.twitter.com/Y6WNAhu5qr
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 31, 2021
Florida had vaccinated more than 1 million seniors among 2,296,350 total vaccinations, according to the CDC’s Jan. 31 data.
In September, DeSantis hosted a roundtable with health experts from Harvard and Stanford prior to his decision to reopen bars and restaurants in his state to 100% capacity.
The experts said the widescale lockdowns actually increase the risk to the vulnerable, slowing down the building of herd immunity for the population. They emphasized the sharp difference in mortality rate for younger people, pointing out it’s lower than the seasonal flu.
The Centers for Disease Control data showed influenza is deadlier among children ages 0-17 than COVID-19. During the 2018-19 flu season, the CDC recorded 480 flu deaths among children ages 0-17 in the United States. About 90 died from coronavirus complications from the beginning of the pandemic through mid-August, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.
The CDC estimates a 99.997% survival rate for those from birth to age 19 who contract COVID-19. It’s 99.98% for ages 20-49, 99.5% for 50-69 and 94.6% for those over 70.