DeSantis’ Gall, Obfuscation, and Dishonesty

As the pandemic's effects continue to worsen in Florida, DeSantis continues to play the worst kind of politics.

Via The Daily Beast: Ron DeSantis Says Biden Should Follow Florida’s Lead on COVID.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, said that President Joe Biden had failed to “end COVID,” whereas his state was experiencing “great success” in treating patients. “You know, he said he was going to end COVID. He hasn’t done that. We are the first state to start the treatment centers for monoclonal antibodies. We’re having great success with that. That should have been a bigger plan, a bigger part of this whole response throughout the country from the beginning. At the end of the day, he is trying to find a way to distract from the failures of his presidency,” DeSantis said. 

Where to start?

Should I note that it takes a remarkable amount of dishonesty mixed with a clear attempt to mislead his audience to talk about how great his state is doing in treating a disease when he has been using his office to actively fight against mitigation of that disease? That is he is willing to seek and take away funding from school districts in his state and has threatened the salaries of local leaders who defy his ban on mask mandates?

Should I note that he is acting like he is doing something special promoting monoclonal antibody treatment, but at the same time has issued orders banning vaccine requirements and vaccine passports, even for private entities? But, you say, the vaccines were Emergency Use Authorization status with the FDA, but so are monoclonal antibody treatments (and, of course, the Pfizer mRNA vaccine is now fully approved).

And yes, lest someone note, DeSantis has given lip service to people getting vaccinated. But when you sign orders like the one he did he sends a clear signal that vaccines are suspect, especially to those who are already hesitant. His general approach to the entire pandemic has been to downplay it and to criticize and block tools to mitigate its spread.

What other signal is he sending with his “Don’t Fauci my Florida” merch other than that Florida ought not to do what Fauci recommends? And what does Fauci recommend? Vaccines (including requirement and passports, masks, distancing, and limiting public exposure through lockdowns when needed (but that was pre-vaccine). The signals are clear, especially to the vaccine-hesitant (and pure anti-vaxxers) as well as anti-maskers and anyone else who simply doesn’t like being told what to do. It is all fuel for the fire and the state is paying the price at the moment.

Politicians who engaged in these symbolic acts (like the mask-ban in Arkansas that Asa Hutchinson now regrets) hoping that they could cash in on the symbolism because they thought the pandemic was winding down are now making us all pay the price of those moves.

Don’t even get me started on who is trying to distract from an administration’s failure. He has already tried to blame the Covid surge on immigrants. And while setting up treatment clinics is a positive (see this Miami Herald piece), DeSantis is simply lying (or is deluded) when he talks about how great things are in Florida. He clearly wants to be president and is willing to ride the wave of Covid in his state and be dishonest about it in the hopes that certain primary voters won’t care in 2024. (And every time I read about Florida, I can’t help but wonder when we get an apology from Rich Lowry, but I won’t hold my breath).

These observations are not about whether one likes DeSantis or not. They are about cold, hard numbers.

Via Yahoo News: Florida is the only state where more people are dying of COVID now than ever before. What went wrong?

A few days ago, however, Florida’s daily death rate cleared 200 for the first time, and today it stands at 228 — an all-time high.

This makes DeSantis the first (and so far only) governor in the U.S. whose state is now recording more COVID-19 deaths each day — long after free, safe and effective vaccines became widely available to all Americans age 12 or older — than during any previous wave of the virus.

And via the NYT: In Florida, the pandemic is worse now than it has ever been before.

More people in Florida are catching the coronavirus, 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.

This week, 227 virus deaths were being reported each day in Florida, on average, as of Tuesday, a record for the state and by far the most in the United States right now. The average for new known cases reached 23,314 a day on the weekend, 30 percent higher than the state’s previous peak in January, according to a New York Times database. Across the country, new deaths have climbed to more than 1,000 a day, on average.

Look, I fully understand that managing people in a pandemic is difficult and that choices made often do not go as planned. But the reality is that DeSantis’ entire approach to the pandemic has ranged from laxity on mitigation to straight-up blocking such efforts. I understand, therefore, if one doesn’t think that pandemic is a big deal (or if one is still, somehow, in the the “it’s just a flu” camp) or if one just so chafes under any kind of restriction (e.g., masks) that one would be prone to prefer DeSantis’ approach.

All I can say to that, however, is ask health care workers in Florida about that approach. Just look at the numbers and the reality on the ground.

All of this suggests that more mitigation efforts are needed (and they certainly do not need to be actively blocked). And so while more access to monoclonal antibody treatments is a good thing, that is only one piece of a far, far larger puzzle. And the only reason to be going on Fox News Channel to regularly rant about such things is to help lay a foundation for a run at the 2024 nomination. It certainly doesn’t do anything to help Floridians with Covid. That is a terribly cynical thing to be doing given the context. And it is a clear sign that Ron DeSantis should not be President of the United States as all of this rather strongly suggests he is willing to contribute to hospitalizations and deaths to bolster his standing with a certain segment of the primary electorate. That’s not leadership; that’s selfishness of the highest order.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2024, COVID-19, Health, Ron DeSantis, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. KM says:

    As I noted on the open thread, there comes a point where you’re just in too deep and never come back. DeSantis crossed the line weeks ago and has no choice but to continue along this path, constantly doubling down and increasing his “resistance”. To do otherwise means admitting he’s killed tens of thousands of his own constituents for nothing more then political ratfucking – that he had essentially ordered mass homicide via negligence. He’s like Trump – the only way forward is straight ahead, no looking back or acknowledging a problem. He’s just as selfish, cruel and short-sighted so why not aim for the big chair?

    Much like the impeachment, the GQP had a built-in off ramp for the ever-escalating insanity that they could have used to save face. Official sanction of the vaccine means that they could pin it on the federal government and claim their hand was “forced”. Make Biden the Evil One and let mandates happen so they don’t have to take the fall. Instead, it’s likely occurred to him he personally is at risk if he doesn’t continue on. The anti-maskers / COVID deniers are getting violent and won’t hesitate to turn on him. At best, they’ll vote him out – at worst, FL Man’s no stranger to weird crime scenes and the state will go blue from all the lost GOP voters. However, riding the crazy might make him the Second Coming of Trump and that’s a prize he’s interested in.

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  2. Scott F. says:

    I’d only add that monoclonal antibody treatments are considerably more expensive to produce than vaccines and I think we all know that the pharmaceutical manufacturers of these drugs (both MABs and vaccines) are not donating them to the cause. The bills are going to be paid by taxpayers. The economics of promoting early COVID treatment with the Regeneron cocktail over preventative vaccination is horribly off-brand for any supposed fiscal conservative.

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  3. Kathy says:

    The virtue of vaccines is they prevent disease and thus the need to treat it. This gets you all sorts of savings. Not just monetary (vaccines offer cost much less than treatments), but of medical resources, lost time, lost productivity, and above all a lot of human death and suffering.

    With a virus as aggressive as SARS-CoV-2, which is getting more transmisible in some variants, like Alpha and Delta, vaccines may not prevent all disease, hospitalization, and deaths. But if they prevent 90% of it, one has to be a very stupid moron not to push them as hard and aggressively as possible, even if that means punishing those who are elegible but refuse to get the shot.

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  4. Jen says:

    He’s a horrible, disingenuous, opportunistic Republican governor who is actively lying to and misleading the people in his state. Which is to say, he will probably be the Republican nominee for President in 2024.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Gall, obfuscation, and dishonesty, from the former guys mini-me?
    Shocking. Shocking, I say.

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  6. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: Krugman had a piece agreeing with you, saying DeSantis started this con and now he feels has to ride it out. He’s always tried to override, and now ban, local mandates. That makes no sense to me. Why not let others fight COVID, and take the heat for it, while posturing for the base? It leads me to wonder if maybe he actually believes his own BS. Worldometers is still showing low deaths per day, apparently reflecting official state numbers. DeSantis changed from showing deaths on the day they were reported to the date of death. This had the effect of moving a lot of deaths earlier and lowering the current numbers. This had me puzzled as surely this would only work for a few days. But recently I saw that reporting lags two or three weeks. So it will reduce numbers for some weeks, and if he’s lucky reduce the peak.

    Reporting I’ve seen said he only got like 300,000 doses of Regeneron. Supplied by the feds, of course, at great cost and not nearly enough. The normal thing to do would be to turn it over to hospitals for doctors to prioritize use as they feel best. Instead we have these state run drive in clinics, presumably because they generate more publicity for RegeneRon. I wonder how many Floriduh people will get Regeneron and not seek proper treatment. The linked article mentions cots at the drive-ins. DeSantis caught some bad publicity with a pic of a women lying on the floor at one.

    Quinniapac did a thorough poll in FL. 59% favor requiring people to mask in indoor public spaces, 64% believe masks are effective, and so on. Healthy majorities for common sense and against DeUseless, but far from the run-him-out-of-the-state numbers there should be. And, of course, heavily partisan splits, Republicans still love him. I’m sure he’s mindful of having to win a GOP primary before he can run for prez. I hope COVID ends DePetomaine’s career, every dark cloud should have some silver lining, but I’m not counting on it.

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  7. JohnMcC says:

    Prob’ly seen by most, but worth linking to during any discussion this topic: (If the link fairy blesses my new bifocals!)….

    https://poll.qu.edu/poll-release?releaseid=3818

    TL;DR… DeStupid suffering but not very much over-all; he’s losing in the suburbs though which is very bad for him.

    Gosh! Link works and ‘edit’ too. I’ll buy a lottery ticket today! (not true)

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Over the last few weeks, several Fla polls show his approval rating dropping and one out has something like 64% of Floridians, not wanting him to run for President. He’s up for reelection in 22, with reelection not a sure thing. Perhaps his calculus is that being reelected isn’t a precursor for capturing the R prez nomination or he may not run, ala Romney. It is pretty obvious that he’s appealing to trumpist R’s nationally rather than Fla voters.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: I still read TAC occasionally. Recently one of us drive by liberals criticized all the craziness about masks not working and horse dewormers and so on. Another commenter challenged him by asking what his plan for dealing with COVID would be. The first guy replied – let’s see, we have three safe, highly effective, readily available, and free to the patient vaccines. I guess it’ll take some genius at NASA to come up with a plan.

    I was reading a piece by one Garret Keizer at Harper’s. He quotes a Bonhoefer comment that “stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice” and observes that political stupidity is not low intelligence or ignorance, it’s the “loss of reality”. True dat.

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  10. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    DeSantis would be bold in choosing our governor as his running mate. Her entire response was politicization of Covid. She responded disgracefully and I want her gone next cycle. Her actions were disgusting.

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  11. steve says:

    Just for the record, my network has been using monoclonal antibodies for months. Thousands of treatments. So when he says “We are the first state to start the treatment centers for monoclonal antibodies. ” you can disregard that.

    Steve

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  12. gVOR08 says:

    @steve: Ah, but you’re probably doing monoclonal antibody treatments in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of doctors and all that rigmarole. I believe FL is the first, and I hope only, state doing drive-ins, first come, first served, for anybody with a positive test. Or at least I hope a positive test, some reporting has said you only need to say you’ve been exposed.

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  13. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Antiviral medications are tricky. Viruses do not have metabolic activity, unlike bacteria, so they don’t take in nutrients or reproduce by their own means. In other words, once inside the body, they cannot be killed, again unlike bacteria.

    What antiviral drugs do is interfere with the virus’ mechanism used to hijack the cell’s machinery for reproduction, or with the cellular processes the virus makes use of. The problem is a virus uses the organelles and enzymes your cell already has. And naturally the cell has them for its own proper functioning. Therefore antiviral medications tend to interfere with normal cellular processes, which means they have many side effects, some of them actively dangerous to one’s health (which is why they are taken under medical supervision).

    Antibodies do target the virus specifically, leaving your cells alone (T cells are a different matter). But antibodies alone work best when there’s a relatively light viral load. That is, before the virus infecting you has a chance to reproduce en-masse and produce billions of copies of itself that can affect billions of your cells. This is one thing that makes vaccines so effective in preventing illness. Antibodies are ready when the virus comes in, and they bind to it at once. This is also why monoclonal antibodies* work best as close to the time of infection as possible, and not so well for severe illness.

    It seems ivermectin does produce antiviral effects in animal cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, but only at doses that are high enough to cause serious damage to these cells. This by itself is not ipso-facto a deal breaker, given a dangerous enough disease like COVID. But if you need literally a lethal dose to have an effect, then it’s not useful. Ditto if the maximum safe dose does nothing against the virus.

    In effect, it’s a more sophisticated (or sophist) version of trump’s “can’t we inject bleach to cure COVID?” I guarantee any bleach you inject into a patient will kill large amounts of SARS-CoV-2, and the patient as well.

    *Convalescent plasma, drawn from blood taken from people who’ve recovered from COVID, does contain antibodies for SARS-CoV-2. That’s why it was tested as a therapy. It failed to produce result sin severe cases, but I wonder if it would work among recently infected patients, the way monoclonal antibodies do.

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  14. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It is pretty obvious that he’s appealing to trumpist R’s nationally rather than Fla voters.

    YEP! Exactly what I was thinking.

    @de stijl: That ticket would be a nightmare to me, but best thing ever for a lot of Republicans. It’s astonishing.

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  15. Kathy says:

    There’s a matter of incentives, too, related to the trend to minimize COVID on the right.

    Remember many governors, mostly Democrats, have been threatened for their measures to contain the spread of COVID? People planned an armed, violent kidnap attempt on Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, California’s Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election pretty much for the same reason.

    Meantime, the Tiny Ass in Florida is facing no repercussions for facilitating infection and offering a less effective treatment as an alternative to vaccines and all other containment and mitigation measures.

    I’m definitely not saying we should start threatening the lives of people like Tiny Ass in Florida or Texas, nor try even more extreme measures. But can someone sue them for damages? Indubitably they’ve inflicted death, suffering, long-term health issues, and billions in medical expenses which they could have helped to prevent. So can insurance companies sue them for their policies? How about people who owe tons in medical bills due to COVID? Or medical personnel who caught COVID while treating the patients these morons have encouraged to get sick?

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  16. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    I wonder how many Floriduh people will get Regeneron and not seek proper treatment.

    Regeneran IS a proper treatment. It pretty dramatically cuts hospitalization rates and death rates when done early enough in the course of the disease.

    Making people aware that they should be seeking out Regeneron and cutting the barriers to treatment is basically the one thing DeSantis is doing right. It’s going to be as popular as sheep dewormer at some point, and have the advantage of actually being useful.

    And, politically, it is the one thing he can do without the dreaded “flip-flopping” or being accused of not letting the virus run rampant in the name of freedom. It fits neatly into the insane right wing belief in a miracle cure. I’m surprised he isn’t setting up sheep dewormer and anti-malarial clinics — that’s what the Republican primary voters want.

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  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    I was reading a piece by one Garret Keizer at Harper’s. He quotes a Bonhoefer comment that “stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice” and observes that political stupidity is not low intelligence or ignorance, it’s the “loss of reality”. True dat.

    Beautiful quote.

    Eventually some bright pollster will think to look at the connection between this ‘loss of reality’ and the dismissal of reality that is a necessary pre-condition for religious faith. I’m willing to bet that 70% of anti-vaxxers are more religious than the average. And I’ll bet that the number of atheist and agnostic anti-vaxxers is quite low.

    It really is critical that we start teaching people how to think.

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  18. @Gustopher: To be clear: this is all correct.

    I hope the OP is clear: I am all for people getting access to Regeneron if they fall ill.

    I just think that, as the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and DeSantis is being reckless not doing more to get people vaccinated (and engaging in other mitigation efforts) and then trying to tout access to MABs as that is enough.

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  19. KM says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m surprised he isn’t setting up sheep dewormer and anti-malarial clinics — that’s what the Republican primary voters want.

    Because when the inevitable lawsuits start, he wants to be nowhere near it.

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  20. Joe says:

    I hope the OP is clear: I am all for people getting access to Regeneron if they fall ill.

    And how many who shun a novel and experimental vaccine, Dr. Taylor, will rush in to take an even more alien sounding “monoclonal antibody”?

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  21. @Joe: Exactly. And it also shows the power of elite signaling. DeSantis’ signaling on the vaccine is mixed, but his signaling on Regeneron isn’t and this, in turn, affects public opinion.

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  22. Stormy Dragon says:

    One big piece you left out: DeSantis has millions invested in the biggest manufacturer of monoclonal antibodies, so there’s also corruption here. He’s discouraging cheap vaccines in favor of a far more expensive and less effective treatment so that he can shovel taxpayer dollars into his pocket.

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  23. SC_Birdflyte says:

    DuhSantis is betting that favorable nationwide publicity from Alt-Right media will outweigh any bad news from Florida. It’s a fact that only a minority of Americans know anything about what’s going on in any state other than their own. My sister, a recovering Republican, gets livid when the guv’s name comes up.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Regeneran IS a proper treatment.

    Let me rephrase that. Regeneron is A proper treatment. My fear is people who need additional treatment, are too late in the course of the disease or have comorbidities, will get a treatment of Regeneron and not seek further treatment. I am also concerned that Regeneron is in short supply. It should be used by doctors where it will do the most good. But DeUseless’ drive thrus are apparently handing it out first-come, first-served to whoever wants it. It’s unclear they even need a positive test.

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  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnMcC: But if you had an urge to pay stupidity/wishful thinking tax, today would be the day all right. 😉

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  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “One big piece you left out: DeSantis has millions invested in the biggest manufacturer of monoclonal antibodies…”

    WA! Interesting on two levels, one–that he’s a stakeholder in the outcome, and two–that he has millions to invest. Didn’t know either thing.

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  27. Kurtz says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Do you have a cite?

    The only thing I found is that Citadel is invested in Regneron, and its CEO has donated $10.75m to a DeSantis PAC over the last two years.

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  28. JohnMcC says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Actually, I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. Received one as a gift once. Didn’t know what to do with it.

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  29. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kurtz:

    Sorry, I mentally merged this story:

    Trump has ties to drugmaker Regeneron — and now its stock is surging

    with this one:

    AP: Top Donor Of Gov. Ron DeSantis Is Regeneron Investor

    So it’s DeSantis’s top donor shoveling the tax payer money into their pockets, not DeSantis himself.

    In my defense, there’s so much Republican self-dealing these days that it’s hard to keep it straight.

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  30. Kurtz says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I hear you. Lots of self-dealing everywhere, especially the local and state levels.

    There are too many areas in which the line is fuzzy between government agent and civilian.

    A firm bright-line would go a long way in making some problems more easily solvable.

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  31. keef says:

    https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailycases_totaldeathsper100k

    Take a look at AL, MS, LA, TN, SC, AK as well as FL; deaths per 100,000. All have had rises commensurate with their peaks, or even exceeding them. Funny thing. I didn’t know Ron DiSantis was governor of all those states. To coin a phrase: cold, hard numbers.

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and observe its their “winter.” That is, all have been having very hot summers and people are inside in their air conditioned, air recirculating environments. Ripe for transmission. And as we all know, outside transmission is negligible.

    Political rants against popular governors are easy. Just tossing a bunch of stats up on the wall is easy. Real analysis is hard.

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @keef:

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and observe its their “winter.” That is, all have been having very hot summers and people are inside in their air conditioned, air recirculating environments.

    A logical person would look at vaccine rates for those states.

    A more emotional person would look at syphillis rates, teenage pregnancies, childhood poverty, illiteracy and a dozen other metrics, and then ask “what the hell is wrong with these states?” and then conclude that the slave states have a problem.

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  33. Kathy says:

    @keef:

    Real analysis is hard.

    Ah, so that’s why you don’t provide any.

    Was it worth crawling out from under your rock to make an ass of yourself this way?

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  34. wr says:

    @keef: “Take a look at AL, MS, LA, TN, SC, AK as well as FL; deaths per 100,000. All have had rises commensurate with their peaks, or even exceeding them. Funny thing. I didn’t know Ron DiSantis was governor of all those states. To coin a phrase: cold, hard numbers.”

    See, guys? It’s not just Florida. It’s a whole bunch of states led by Trump-following politicians who are willing to kill their own citizens in order to suck up to the MAGA crowd!!!

    Is this what the young folk today call a self-own?

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  35. @keef:

    Take a look at AL, MS, LA, TN, SC, AK as well as FL; deaths per 100,000. All have had rises commensurate with their peaks, or even exceeding them.

    All states with similar policy responses to Covid, I would note.

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and observe its their “winter.” That is, all have been having very hot summers and people are inside in their air conditioned, air recirculating environments. Ripe for transmission. And as we all know, outside transmission is negligible.

    BTW, you realize I live in Alabama, yes? I am quite familiar with the weather outside (although I expect there is more outdoor activity in the summer in the deep south than there is in the winter in truly cold north–but we will see how that goes, won’t we? I will happily reassess if the data suggest I should–will you?).

    Your response ignores the low vaccination rates, the laws that make vaccinations less likely, and the laws that make mask mandates difficult or illegal. That all seems kind of relevant, yes?

    And yes, it is possible that there is some weather-linked behavior that is part of this

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  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @keef: Take a look at AL, MS, LA, TN, SC, AK as well as FL; deaths per 100,000. All have had rises commensurate with their peaks, or even exceeding them. Funny thing. I didn’t know Ron DiSantis was governor of all those states. To coin a phrase: cold, hard numbers.

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and STFU, but not you. No, not you. You keep volunteering for pinata duty because you are the dumbest mother f*cka to ever hold a mouse.

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  37. EddieInCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Steven L. Taylor:
    @wr, @Kathy

    That mentality is why this country will never get rid of this pandemic. I’ve resigned myself to masks and social distancing, despite being vaccinated, because of that 30% that won’t get the shot, nor wear masks.

    Couple of thoughts….

    1. When people ask “Where did all the people go to create the dwindled population in ‘The Walking Dead’?” We now know that 30% of the population walked towards the Zombies to own the libs.

    2. The media is making a massive deal of 12 dead in Afghanistan, which is horrible, and all but ignoring the 1200 that died YESTERDAY from Covid, 20 months into a pandemic for which we have THREE safe, FREE vaccines.

    3. It’s just a matter of time before the Delta and/or Lambda variant evolve into something even more deadly and transmissible. I doubt even that will help these people, who are now so invested in their intransigence that I doubt anything other than a ventilator will change their minds; and then it will be too late.

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  38. Stormy Dragon says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Two things to remember:
    1. COVID19 can’t get infinitely worse, there’s a limit to how much it can improve while still being able to function as a coronavirus
    2. Because of that, worse variants will get less frequent over time as each progressive improvement reduces the space of remaining improvements making it less likely random mutation will stumble upon one

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  39. mattbernius says:

    @keef:

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and observe its their “winter.” That is, all have been having very hot summers and people are inside in their air conditioned, air recirculating environments. Ripe for transmission. And as we all know, outside transmission is negligible.

    Huh… a “logical” person would also pull back, looking at that graph YOU linked to, and notice that this is Florida’s 3rd spike. The first one happened a year ago, during their “winter.” However, the second one happened in late December through early February of this year — during their “summer.” So this theory that those months should be lower transmission really doesn’t seem to be backed up by the evidence that you cited.

    Of course, you managed to disappear during the winter/spring of 2020 into 2021. I wonder why that was.

    Of course, I will also note this is part of a well establish pattern of you not really having the best analysis or prectictive abilities. Again, let’s go back to the historic tape:

    On Tuesday, 29 September 2020 at 13:09, you wrote:

    Another grim statistic. Regular flu kills 650,000/yr – year in and year out. Number of posts about “grim statistics” at OTB the past 10 years? I’m thinking zero. I wonder why?

    OK, ok. No I’m not.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/one-million-dead-from-covid-19-worldwide/#comment-2549466

    In 2020 Covid-19 killed over 3,000,000 people worldwide. It’s now up to 4.2 million.

    BTW, the US is nearing 650,000 deaths from Covid-19 on its own.

    And yet you think that people were “blowing it out of proportion.”

    Then there was this one from Tuesday, 27 October 2020 at 09:31:

    Of course “almost no lockdown Sweden” has excess mortality of, well, zero.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/more-magical-thinking-on-covid-from-the-trump-camp/#comment-2562682

    As usual, the facts were a little different:

    Preliminary data from EU statistics agency Eurostat compiled by Reuters showed Sweden had 7.7% more deaths in 2020 than its average for the preceding four years.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-europe-mortality/sweden-saw-lower-2020-death-spike-than-much-of-europe-data-idUSKBN2BG1R9

    Last I checked 7.7% is a lot higher than zero. More on that visible spike here: https://twitter.com/HMDatabase/status/1345417758129999872

    Now, I know there is a lot of speculation as to whether or not you are Guarneri or not. I really hope for your sake that isn’t the case, because if we go back and look at the claims he was spouting about COVID-19 for most of the late winter and early spring of 2020 — well I know I would be embarrassed to have gone on the record with predictions that turned out to be so wrong that many times. And I’m sure I wouldn’t keep throwing shade at others (at least not without admitting that I got it wrong in the past).

    But the point is, man, with your record on COVID-19, is throwing shade at others really the best idea?

    Or is repeatedly making an ass of yourself what constitutes “owning teh libz?!” these days? And is it something that you can learn that the Franklin School?

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  40. @mattbernius: I would need to do a more systematic analysis, but if one looks at the charts, it appears that a lot (most/all?) of states had a spike last winter, but only the low vax states seem to be having a spike right now.

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  41. de stijl says:

    I am not just just me. I am part of a larger whole, a society. A system. A community.

    If I can do something that protects the whole I benefit too. I enjoy maintained streets and utility infrastructure – all of the benefits that stable civil structures bring. A toilet that flushes. A light switch. A working tap. Really essential stuff.

    Masks are a fuck ton cheaper than anti-clonal monobodies or whatever. Way cheaper than creating and mass producing vaccines surely.

    Prevention is better than a cure.

    But, inevitably, a cure is necessary. We can do both simultaneously. It’s easy.

    Prevention means less health care resources spent. Expensive resources and not inexhaustible.

    The anti-mask bullshit fucking makes me really mad. And I live in Iowa governed by Kim fucking Reynolds who should be tried for crimes against humanity.

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  42. de stijl says:

    @mattbernius:

    That was pretty awesome.

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  43. Jen says:

    @keef:

    Take a look at AL, MS, LA, TN, SC, AK as well as FL; deaths per 100,000. […]

    Of course, a logical person would look at those states and observe its their “winter.

    Alaska (AK) would like to have a word with you about the definition of “winter.” 😀

    I am assuming you meant to type AR, which is the abbreviation for Arkansas.

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  44. Long Time Listener says:

    He’s so tiresome. Almost makes me miss SuperDestroyer, or whatever that dude’s name was. Perhaps we should have a ‘Best/Worst of Trolls’ post, where our hosts plumb the Archive and put silliness on display.

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  45. BTW, let the record reflect that even in the deep south, cold and flu season is still in the winter months because, despite the fact that it is not as cold as up north, people are still more likely to be indoors during that period of time.

    As a social scientist, I cannot ignore the fact that the states currently surging share similar weather patterns, especially as it pertains to heat. That means one has to at least keep that variable in mind as part of the analysis. But the policy environment is almost certainly the more important variable here than the climate.

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  46. Not the IT Dept. says:

    George Carlin, thou shouldst be living at this hour. Thou are badly needed.

    “Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.

    If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do you any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”

    Tell me where he’s wrong? At some point, voters in this country need to smarten up or grow up.

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  47. Hal_10000 says:

    DeSantis is a smart man. He knows this is BS; he just doesn’t care.

    I actually can’t wait until Trump inevitably stabs him in the back.

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  48. grumpy realist says:

    DeSantis just got slapped down by a judge over his mask anti-mandates.

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