DeSantis' Plans Derailed as Florida Sets Yet Another Record for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Joe Duncan

Florida cases have skyrocketed and now hospitals are filling up as unvaccinated patients are rushed to the hospitals to receive emergency COVID-19 care

We know what they've been telling us all along. They've been telling us to ignore the climbing case counts. "Focus on the deaths and the hospitalizations," they've said. And while it's true that last year, in 2020, there was a lot of media that some have described as "alarmist" buzzing about, as many legacy media institutions sounded the alarm bells over a massive rise in COVID-19 deaths they were certain to come, this time it's different. Last year, our hospitalizations didn't skyrocket like they are right now. Last year, we had the alpha and beta variants, but this new delta strain is like nothing I've ever seen.

A quick glance at the exponentially growing infection rates in a few Southern states in the chart below might tell you exactly what I mean. Look at the newest upward curve. Look at how quickly

And then a quick look at the CDC's numbers for pediatric hospitalizations will also show that Region 4, the American Southeast, is experiencing a massive uptick. Yes, that indicates a steep rise in child hospitalizations for the Southeastern region. COVID is coming after young children now too.

It's not that different from the 1918 outbreak of influenza. The first year the H1N1 flu was making its rounds, in 1917, the flu harmed mainly the elderly, like a lot of other viruses. The immunocompromised were especially at risk.

But as the pandemic progressed, the virus mutated into a strain that affected young people more than the elderly. That's how we ended up with influenza killing more people in the First World War than the actual fighting of the war itself.

Beyond these two alarming figures, these are just the new hospitalizations taking place in the Southeastern United States. But let's talk about Florida's total hospitalizations at current. DeSantis has been championing the fact that Florida deaths are very low and that mortality isn't what it was at the start of the pandemic. This is true, I'll grant him that.

But looking at Florida hospitalizations in total gives us a snapshot into the fact that we're almost at our former peak level for hospitalizations, rather than just newly admitted hospitalizations. And this tells us how close we are to the tipping point that's been experienced in other places.

It's once the hospitals become full and they have to start sending people home, that dire situations like New York, California, and India unfold.

Hospitals are keeping people alive but once they reach capacity, disaster usually follows.

DeSantis Doubles Down

Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has insisted that Florida will stay the course and continue without any mask mandates or other policies to try to curb the spread of the new delta variant. It was just two days ago I was reporting that Florida had broken the record for COVID-19 hospitalizations and now I'm here to report again that Florida has broken that record also.

As the Star Tribune reports today:

With the much more contagious delta variant now spreading exponentially, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalized patients Tuesday, breaking last year's record for the third straight day. Hospitalizations have increased 11 times over the 1,000 COVID patients hospitalized in mid-June. About 2,400 patients are now in intensive care.

DeSantis has continued to double down on his ultra-libertarian approach to the pandemic, touting it as the crowning systemic achievement of his administration. DeSantis is proud of his approach to the pandemic, even as hospitals are filling up, calling any reporting that Florida is experiencing problems "media hysteria." The Florida Governor said, in defense of his policies:

Even among a lot of positive tests, you are seeing much less mortality than you did year-over-year. Would I rather have 5,000 cases among 20-year-olds or 500 cases among seniors? I would rather have the younger.”

Floridians are as uneasy as they are divided about the Governor's handling of the pandemic. DeSantis' supporters are likely to stick by him no matter what he does. But he's already getting a lot of blowback from the anti-vaccine crowd for his support of the vaccines, as well as getting pushback from moderates and Democrats for his handling, or some would say mishandling, of the pandemic.

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