The Florida Governor has turned to a new tactic: he's now pleading with Florida residents to get vaccinated
As the month of July comes to an end, we're approaching the year-and-a-half mark since the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, first came to American shores. Florida now leads the nation in new daily cases, with experts saying that 40% of the new cases are coming out of the state of Florida. If there was a state that we could call the "epicenter" of new cases in America, Florida would be it.
As the pandemic rages on, it seems Republicans, both in Congress and in statehouses and local governments, have rapidly changed their tune within the last 48 hours or so. With Fox News TV personality Sean Hannity finally turning over a new leaf and urging his supporters to talk to their doctors about getting vaccinated (a segment he later walked back the following day, already, saying he didn't urge his supporters to go get vaccinated) was just one instance of many sudden coming-to-Jesus moments the Republican Party has had this week.
It's honestly quite bizarre.
Mitch McConnell, the Senator from Kentucky and the Senate Minority Leader of the Republican Party, doubled down on his efforts to persuade both his constituents and the country to go out and get the vaccine for the virus.
And now, as fears that the virus is spreading out of control in Florida mount, Governor Ron DeSantis has also chimed in with some words of his own.
While the governor certainly didn't mince words and reiterated that he's skeptical of some of the messaging that the experts have used, he says clearly that the vaccines are both safe and effective. If you get the vaccine, he says, you're not likely to end up in the hospital, on a ventilator, or worse, dying.
The governor blamed what he feels is piss-poor messaging by the mainstream media and mainstream scientific authorities for the sudden decline in vaccine demand. The governor said that if you have the vaccine, your odds of getting violently sick and dying from COVID-19 are "effectively zero," stating:
Moreover, nearly 95% of those admitted to hospitals with the disease aren’t fully vaccinated. These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality.
While some Democrats have acted surprised by the Governor's sudden enthusiasm, I did report in early July that DeSantis was messaging (as he always has) that the vaccines are safe and effective.
Speaking about the pauses the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on when they analyzed its safety after it had already been in circulation, Governor DeSantis says that was a big mistake.
“I think it was a huge mistake. I said so at the time, and I think that that sent a message that maybe this is not something that they should be doing. I think that’s been unfortunate because I took it. I think it’s effective.”
DeSantis has reiterated time and again that he's been vaccinated (just as former President Trump has also been vaccinated). His stance hasn't changed, it just appears that most Democrats haven't been listening to him.
As we're starting to get back to something that resembles real life, lurking in the backdrop is a fear that many of us share about the spread of the new Delta variant of COVID-19.
Experts say it's more than twice as contagious as the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. And as we all know, the strain was initially discovered in India where it ripped through that country, tearing the nation to shreds. Six thousand people died in a single day in India from the variant. And while regular COVID has a relatively low death rate, experts also believe the delta variant may be more deadly, with reports suggesting that up to a full 1/3rd of those who caught the virus variant in India ended up dying.
This strain is significantly more dangerous than others that have come before it and, as the Governor has said, getting treated beforehand is the safest and best option to assure you don't get sick.
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