Florida urged to step up vaccination efforts amid 'alarming' rise in Covid | Florida

T he week began with high-flying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of Texas denigrating Joe Biden about immigration to the southern border. ...


The week began with high-flying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of Texas denigrating Joe Biden about immigration to the southern border. But with the highly contagious Delta variant pushing new cases of Covid-19 in its home state to their highest level since January, DeSantis’ road trip seemed more and more muffled in tone and timing.

At the end of the week, Florida counted for almost a quarter new infections nationwide, US surgeon general Vivek Murthy warning of an “alarming” increase in deaths and hospitalizations.

“The challenge in Florida, and in far too many states, is [that] we still don’t have high enough immunization rates, and in some pockets we actually have pretty low immunization rates, ”said Murthy in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers.

“The consequence is that Covid is now spreading very quickly in these populations. “

Meanwhile, DeSantis, which recently launched a line of campaign products mocking masks and medical experts, went home praising the virtues of vaccines.

“These vaccines save lives,” he said during a press conference to which he noted that more than 95% of new infections in Florida were in people who had not received a vaccine. The state ranks 25th in the United States, with 48.1% of eligible people fully vaccinated, 0.7% below the national average.

Edwin Michael, professor of epidemiology at the University of the South Florida, said: “The upsurge in cases and hospitalizations is due to fewer vaccinations, the relaxation of social distancing measures, greater population mobility and the spread of more contagious variants.

“Until vaccination rates increase to achieve herd immunity this fall, people will still need to follow social distancing measures, such as wearing face coverings at the very least, to protect themselves and reduce the risk. spread of infection. “

Michael said Florida’s current vaccination rate must double to prevent the resurgence of the virus from spiraling out of control.

Florida’s peak wave, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said saw the seven-day average of cases more than quadruple from 1,839 on July 1 to 8,911 three weeks later, fills state hospitals.

Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and central Florida hospital systems set record increase in admissions, and restrict visitors and warn of impending staff shortages.

“We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We want to avoid a repeat of last year and overwhelm our hospitals, ”said Carlos Migoya, general manager of Jackson Health in Miami.

DeSantis has promised action: But only to call a special session of the Florida legislature to block any initiative by the Biden administration to implement a mask mandate in state public schools.

“If I were a relative in Florida, I would be very concerned about that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters after DeSantis announced the proposal.

“Children under 12 are not vaccinated, they are not yet eligible. It puts children at risk. It does not meet public health standards.

Doctors have welcomed DeSantis’ calls for more residents to get vaccinated, but their frustration has grown at what they see as mixed messages, including its attacks on federal health officials – “experts belowIn the words of the governor – who criticized vaccine skeptics.

Already this year, DeSantis published a general forgiveness to anyone found guilty of violating the mandates of the Covid local authority, and has promised to use the power given to them by the Republican-dominated Florida legislature to invalidate local emergency measures.

A vaccination site in Orlando.  The state ranks 25th in the United States, with 48.1% of eligible people fully vaccinated.
A vaccination site in Orlando. The state ranks 25th in the United States, with 48.1% of eligible people fully vaccinated. Photograph: Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto / Rex / Shutterstock

He also sued the CDC, with mixed success, in an attempt to prevent cruise lines from requiring passengers to be vaccinated or from complying with other health requirements. And in recent days, DeSantis has intensified his personal animosity towards Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading expert on infectious diseases. In addition to fundraising on the “Don’t falter my FloridaBeer koozies and T-shirts, DeSantis accused Fauci of trying to To “muzzle” her three year old son with a mask warrant.

“For weeks, cases grew rapidly, so I was curious as a doctor when Governor DeSantis gave a speech essentially mocking Dr. Fauci,” Bernard Ashby, Miami-based cardiologist and chief of the Florida chapter of the Committee for the Protection of Health Care, noted.

“As DeSantis walks around bragging about Florida’s handling of the pandemic, or lack of, and poking fun at Fauci, the doctors here feel like we’re back to square one.”

Political opponents have also been critical. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, US Congressman for Florida and former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, told CNN: “When you passed a law through the state legislature saying that businesses cannot require vaccination, that local governments cannot take measures to ensure the safety of their own people, that ignore public health, which really did everything during the whole pandemic it could make the pandemic stronger and take care of people, as we are now facing the biggest increase in the country, so the responsibility lies with you. “

Brice Barnes, Florida Democratic strategist and co-founder of the Political Action Group Ron is gone, said DeSantis seemed increasingly obsessed with his widely anticipated race at the White House.

“It is very clear that Ron DeSantis’ priorities are what is in his best political interest, as he kicks off his presidential campaign for 2024. He seems to be focusing on everything except Florida,” she said.

“We are seeing governors of other states looking at the situation quite seriously and starting to change their policies as the cases multiply, and DeSantis needs to have an open mindset and not play politics with a public safety crisis. . “

DeSantis media representatives did not respond to a request for comment.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Florida urged to step up vaccination efforts amid 'alarming' rise in Covid | Florida
Florida urged to step up vaccination efforts amid 'alarming' rise in Covid | Florida
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