The state of Florida announced 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, smashing our previous record of 11,434 set on July 4, and bringing Florida to the forefront nationally in highest same-day COVID-19 infections.
New York had held the previous record, with 12,274 on April 4.
First, the grim facts: Orange County set a record, too, with 1,371 new cases reported Sunday, to bring us to a new total of 18,001. Seminole had 146 new cases for a total of 4,229, and Osceola reported 306 new cases and a total of 4,167. Volusia added 171 more for a total of 3,805. 45 more people have died of the virus in Florida, bringing the total statewide death toll to 4,242. Including non-residents, it's 4,346.
Florida reported a new record on Sunday for the highest number of same-day tests administered, at 99,003, and now more than 2.5 million in Florida have been tested. Our latest positivity rate is 11.25 percent, lower than past rates that spiked at 18.35 percent on Wednesday. It's still a pain in the ass to get tested, too, with long lines and janky online reservation systems.
The whole week brought 69,700 official new cases and 511 deaths, both records.
As has been reported, noted, and sighed in exasperation before, researchers in Canada and Lebanon who reviewed 172 studies from 16 different countries found that face masks were 85 percent effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Still, DeSantis refuses to make mask-wearing mandatory statewide.
"One of the things that bothered me throughout this whole time was, I researched the 1918 pandemic, '57, '68, and there were some mitigation efforts done in May 1918," DeSantis said. "But never just a national-shutdown type deal. There was really no observed experience about what the negative impacts would be on that."
He went on to describe his deliberation between science and balance.
"So I was very concerned about things on that side as well and I think that's why I had a more nuanced and balanced approach than some of the other governors. Because you have some of these health officials saying, 'You've got to do this. This is science,' or whatever. But really, these were unchartered territories."
Speaking to the national media after a mask-less Orlando lunch with Vice President Mike Pence on May 20, DeSantis wagged his finger at reporters and said, "a lot of people in your profession wax poetically for weeks and weeks, about how Florida was going to be just like New York.
"We succeeded and I think people just don't want to recognize it," DeSantis said.
"It's out of control across the state because our governor won't even tell everybody to wear masks," said Shalala. "This is an American tragedy."
Numbers aside, DeSantis is coming off as a gutless, politically beholden hack who is too afraid of his own base to issue a mask order that would save lives. What a disgrace.
The statewide case total, including non-residents, stands now at a stark 269,811, approximately 1.25 percent of the state's estimated 2019 population of 21.478 million people, an indicator of how much room the virus possibly has to grow.
Will DeSantis issue a statewide mask order? More importantly, why wouldn't he?
Images via Google Maps/State of Florida Department of Health
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