Florida has kind of become the epicenter of the MAGA movement. Donald Trump, or course, decided to make it his permanent residence following his presidency. And while it was one time the nation’s biggest swing state, it has become much redder over the last 10 years.
Ron DeSantis, a Trumpian politician is beloved in the state. And the governor made a point of patting himself on the back for his COVID response. Unlike other states, he said, Florida didn’t need to take strong steps to combat the illness. And he took quite a victory lap early in the pandemic.
But now, the delta variant is surging in his state. The White House recently reported that 20% of all new cases are originating in Florida.
On Wednesday, the governor threw his full support behind vaccines. “If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chances of you getting seriously ill or dying from Covid is effectively zero. If you look at the people being admitted to hospitals, over 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated. And so these vaccines are saving lives.
DeSantis continued, “They are reducing mortality. Mortality in nursing homes since we rolled out the vaccines in December is down 95 percent due to Covid. Mortality for elderly people since we rolled out the vaccines is down nearly 90 percent. So we’re proud in Florida that we put seniors first on that list because they were the most vulnerable.”
DeSantis has attempted to play both sides of the fence on this one. He helped Donald Trump downplay the virus for all of 2020. But his political ambitions could be hurt if things get much worse in Florida, so now he is backing the vaccine.
Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and hillreporter.com. He enjoys sports, politics, comic books and spending time at the shore with his family.