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Winner of the pandemic just can’t stop the winning

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Few governors have done more to irresponsibly promote the idea that the COVID-19 vaccines are less safe and effective than typical vaccines and to take active measures to stop pro-vaccination measures as frequent target of fawning press coverage Ron DeSantis. The effects have been very predictable:

New coronavirus cases leaped in Florida in the week ending Sunday, rising 42% as 15,684 cases were reported. The previous week had 11,048 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Florida ranked fifth among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States increased 10.4% from the week before, with 92,148 cases reported. With 6.45% of the country’s population, Florida had 17.02% of the country’s cases in the last week. Across the country, 28 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

As Paul says, these deaths are murder-suicides, and DeSantis bears more personal responsibility for them than anyone.

On the one hand, 100 fewer people per 100,000 have died of COVID in Washington state than in Florida (a gap that is only going to expand given relative vaccination rates.) But, on the other hand, you have to remember that Florida’s economic performance has also been much worse. And yet somehow I doubt Politico is about to become Jay Inslee’s unsolicited PR team.

DeSantis’s skill, such as it is, was to recognize that a lot of reporters were bored by covering the plague and wanted to be given implicit permission that it was OK to move on. This worked out very well for his political ambitions; for his ordinary supporters in Florida, much less so.

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