Despite Harsh Criticism, Florida Has Lowest New Covid-19 Case Rate in Nation

Despite criticism by Democrats of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s handling of Covid-19, including from President Joe Biden, Florida recently reported the nation’s lowest new coronavirus case rate.

Florida declared a daily average of 1,393 new cases or a rate of six cases per 100,000 people. This represents a 5% decrease over the 14-day period.

The state of Michigan has the highest rate in the nation at 85 cases per 100,000 people. This is a daily case average almost 60% higher, or a daily case average of 8,457.

DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw responded to the low case rate saying, “It just shows once again the success of Governor DeSantis’s science-based and data-based policies. He’s always made decisions based on the data, which continued even during the delta surge this summer.

“What he realized would help was not mask mandates in school or lockdowns but provide treatment that actually works.”

Florida saw a 12% drop in the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations during the 14-day period. The death rate dropped to 0.20 per 100,000, according to the data.

Nationally, the new case rate is 26 per 100,000, equal to a 10% increase in the last 14-day period. The national death rate is 0.31 per 100,000.

Florida’s per-capita vaccination rate is above the national average, with 61% of the population fully vaccinated compared to 59% nationwide.

War of words

DeSantis has been in a war of words with the Biden administration due to his opposition to the administration’s mandates and lockdowns.

DeSantis fought to keep Florida open for business and has opposed mask and vaccine mandates, especially in schools.

The governor signed legislation on November 18 prohibiting private employers in the state from mandating vaccines. The legislation instead allows them to provide health and religious exemptions or permit periodic testing as options to vaccination.

DeSantis’s move comes as the administration’s vaccine mandate for private companies stalls in the court system.

According to the state, employers who violate the law are subject to fines of $10,000 per employee for companies up to 99 employees or $50,000 per employee for businesses with 100 or more employees.

Additionally, the legislation blocks school districts from requiring students to be vaccinated or implementing mask policies. It also gives parents the right to sue districts that violate the law.

“I told Floridians that we would protect their jobs, and today we made that the law. Nobody should lose their job due to heavy-handed Covid mandates, and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida,” said DeSantis in a press release announcing the new law.

“I’m thankful to the Florida Legislature for joining me in standing up for freedom.”