By Eleanor Clift: For Entire Post, Click Here..
The base still buys his act, but other Floridians appear to have their doubts as the Delta variant spreads and hospitalizations are soaring.
lorida Governor Ron DeSantis made a big bet that keeping Florida open and fighting mask mandates would be political gold, and for a time it looked like he was winning that bet. No more, as the Delta variant has made Florida the epicenter of a new and more transmissible surge of COVID-19. And DeSantis is too dug in fighting mask mandates and peddling “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merchandise to make many adjustments even as the number of hospitalizations climb with a rising death rate sure to follow.
Local school boards are defying his executive order banning mask mandates, despite the governor’s threats to withhold funding, and a federal judge upheld Norwegian Cruise Line’s requirement that passengers show proof of vaccination after DeSantis threatened Norwegian with a $5,000 fine per passenger, a bill for a public health measure that would have cost millions and was correctly seen as a bully’s overreach into an industry that is the lifeblood of South Florida.
DeSantis was elected governor in 2018 with a margin of victory of just 0.4 percent, or 32,000 votes. Florida’s official COVID death count is now 39,695, a chilling reminder about the public health impact of DeSantis’ policies, and the fact that politics is about addition, not subtraction.