Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized last September for lifting the coronavirus lockdowns in his state after consulting with renowned epidemiologists, but on Sunday 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, Breitbart News reported.
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 has 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.
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