The news is out: [Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday defended his decision to reopen the state despite the months-long surge in new cases, suggesting that Florida’s “flatter curve” meant that although the virus had abated, it hung around longer.
At a news conference in Orlando, DeSantis was asked about comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said Thursday that Florida had “jumped over a couple of checkpoints” and opened too early, leading to the surge in cases in every county in the state.
“We had very, very low prevalence, particularly in the 64 counties outside of southern Florida, and we did put southern Florida on a different pathway,’’ the governor told reporters, referring to the lower numbers of people testing positive in May and early June. “So I think there was really no justification to not move forward.”
A Miami Herald analysis, however, showed that new cases and positivity started rising in early May, even prior to reopening. By the time the state entered Phase 2 of its reopening on June 5, the numbers were showing what experts called “leading indicators of a resurgence” of COVID-19 in Florida. That resurgence began within two weeks of initial reopening, the analysis shows — the amount of time experts say it takes to see the impact of policy decisions on rates of transmission.]
There is nothing left to say about Ron DeSantis. There is nobody left for DeSantis to lie to.