In Florida, the Covid-19 pandemic is worse than it’s ever been.
A sobering New York Times report finds that Floridians are “being hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 now than at any previous point in the pandemic, underscoring the perils of limiting public health measures as the Delta variant rips through the state.”
Much of the criticism for the state’s pandemic response has fallen on Governor Ron DeSantis (R), who has resisted mask mandates and downplayed the pandemic’s severity at every turn.
DeSantis has also indicated that he would like to run for president in 2024 but a new Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday indicates that most Florida voters––59%––do not want DeSantis to run.
On the heels of this poll came the Twitter hashtag #DesantisDestroysFlorida. Many social media users are expressing their frustration, even anger, with the governor and have taken him to task for his actions during the pandemic and have emphasized the toll it has had on the state.
This pernicious malignancy is attempting to pave a path to the WH with the blood of his constituents killed by his banning of mask mandates in schools & businesses & railing against the vaccine while promoting Regeneron. I hope him and Trump share a cell.#DesantisDestroysFlorida https://t.co/4JjiRx15CS
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈 (@AmoneyResists) August 26, 2021
"More people in Florida are catching the coronavirus, being hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 now than at any previous point in the pandemic"https://t.co/V5ezVgAOe5
— DanWalter (@DanWalter2021) August 25, 2021
— Mark my Words – Trump will go to Prison (@donliedusadied) August 26, 2021
Florida was not an epicenter of the disease on this continent.
The reason Florida went from 50th place in cases per population to unnecessarily 3rd place is due to Trumpism and people exactly like Ron DeSantis.#DesantisDestroysFlorida
— RufusKings (@RufusKings1776) August 26, 2021
The CDC reports over 26,000 cases today in FL – Highest number yet. Over 200 Floridians are dying every day – because instead of pushing vaccines, my govenor is defunding schools over a mask fight and pushing a drug his top donor is heavily invested in. #DesantisDestroysFlorida
— Ghost of Cleopatra (@Cyndilevine16) August 26, 2021
DeathSentence wants to defund our schools if they refuse to risk the lives of our children. 😷 https://t.co/HH0IeL0OgC
— 🌊1BLUE vote🌊 (@Constit13339570) August 25, 2021
Ron Desantis is a monster that’s destroying and killing Florida.#DesantisDestroysFlorida
— Mayo (@MayoIsSpicyy) August 25, 2021
Earlier this month, DeSantis walked back his threat to slash the salaries of school officials who impose mask mandates in defiance of his executive order.
His spokesperson said “activist, anti-science school board members” should dock their own salaries if the state imposes financial sanctions on their districts.
“Those officials should own their decision — and that means owning the consequences of their decisions rather than demanding students, teachers, and school staff to foot the bill for their potential grandstanding,” said Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary.
“The issue is that … superintendents and school board members are not state employees. Therefore, the only way the state could tailor the financial penalty would be to withhold an amount of funding equal to their salaries,” she added. “In that event, it is possible that the officials who are violating the law could decide to take funding from other needs in their own district, in order to pay themselves salaries. It wouldn’t be fair to the students, but it would technically be possible.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.