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DeSantis, Social Media Posts Mislead on COVID-19’s Toll in Florida

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SciCheck Digest

Florida’s whole COVID-19 case fee is increased than the nationwide fee and tenth highest within the U.S. However social media posts and the state’s governor level to a latest decline in day by day instances as proof of Florida’s success in dealing with COVID-19, whereas ignoring the total affect of the pandemic’s toll on the state.

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In early November, the U.S. surpassed 750,000 deaths on account of COVID-19 and has had greater than 46 million instances for the reason that pandemic started. Florida has the tenth highest cumulative case fee of the pandemic, in accordance with federal, state and native knowledge compiled by the New York Occasions.

Every day COVID-19 instances in Florida surged over the previous yr, as we’ve reported, with the state reaching record-high ranges of hospitalizations as a result of illness in early August. Nevertheless, the day by day variety of COVID-19 instances and hospitalizations in Florida has decreased in latest weeks, in accordance with the Florida Division of Well being, because the wave of instances brought on by the delta variant subsides.

DeSantis, Social Media Posts Mislead on COVID-19's Toll in Florida

The regular decline in instances has led to sunny social media posts proclaiming Florida has the “lowest Covid charges within the nation with out having to institute communist mandates & lockdowns.”

“Florida now has the bottom COVID case fee and California is center of the pack,” reads the screenshot of a tweet from California Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. “Isn’t it fascinating how an all-important metric all of a sudden not issues.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis additionally touted his state’s latest COVID-19 knowledge during an Oct. 29 interview on Fox Information’ “Ingraham Angle.” Host Laura Ingraham launched DeSantis by saying, “Florida is without doubt one of the massive COVID success tales that the media would favor to disregard altogether. Now, the Sunshine State now has one of many lowest day by day case and demise charges on the market.”

DeSantis replied: “I assume Florida is not a part of america. They only fake like we don’t exist.” He additionally mentioned, “Now that we’re in a scenario we have now very low numbers, you don’t hear a peep.”

The social media posts and DeSantis are right that Florida’s day by day COVID-19 case fee is presently low. However what’s left unsaid is that Florida’s whole case fee remains to be increased than the nationwide fee and among the many highest within the U.S.

As of Nov. 5, the seven-day common of COVID-19 instances for Florida was 7 instances per 100,000 individuals, in accordance with the Occasions database as of Nov. 5. Florida was tied with Louisiana for the fewest day by day instances per 100,000 among the many 50 states.

However, as our chart beneath illustrates, Florida has the tenth highest case fee — greater than 17,000 per 100,000 individuals — when measured by its whole variety of instances throughout the pandemic, as of Nov. 5. That’s increased than the nationwide case fee of 13,995 per 100,000 individuals.

DeSantis, Social Media Posts Mislead on COVID-19's Toll in Florida

In accordance with knowledge compiled by the New York Occasions, Florida — the third largest state — has the third most COVID-19 deaths and instances within the nation, with greater than 3.6 million instances and greater than 59,000 deaths since February 2020. When adjusted for inhabitants, Florida’s COVID-19 demise fee additionally ranks tenth among the many 50 states, with 278 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Florida’s latest rise and decline of instances match a sample that well being consultants have seen with different variants, the place instances peak and decline over a two-month cycle.

“There’s this bizarre two-month factor that goes on. All of us picked it up,” Michael Sweat, a professor on the Medical College of South Carolina and a frontrunner of its COVID-19 monitoring group, mentioned in a college weblog submit. “I imply, it’s like each time whenever you get a wave, it goes up, peaks and declines in about two months.”

Florida — together with Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Kentucky — adopted this pattern, as instances began to rise in late June and started to fall in August. Solely Kentucky’s seven-day common case fee is increased than the U.S. seven-day common fee, as of Nov. 5.

Editor’s observe: SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Venture is made doable by a grant from the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis. The inspiration has no management over FactCheck.org’s editorial selections, and the views expressed in our articles don’t essentially replicate the views of the inspiration. The purpose of the venture is to extend publicity to correct details about COVID-19 and vaccines, whereas reducing the affect of misinformation.


Adams, Helen. “Pandemic predictions: Two-month cycle and immunity impact.” Medical College of South Carolina. 14 Oct 2021.

Alvim, Leda. “Florida’s COVID-19 deaths are nonetheless among the many highest within the nation. ” WUSF. 14 Oct 2021.

Chow, Denise, et al. “The brand new faces of Covid deaths.” NBC Information.  2 Nov 2021.

Coronavirus within the U.S.: Newest Map and Case Rely.” New York Occasions. 2 Nov 2021.

“COVID-19 Weekly State of affairs Report: State Overview.” Florida Division of Well being. 29 Oct 2021.

FLORIDA COVID-19 UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 22, 2021.” Florida Hospital Affiliation. Accessed 2 Nov 2021.

Florida Division of Well being. COVID-19 Weekly State of affairs Report: State Overview. 29 Oct 2021.

“’Ingraham Angle’ on liberal media ignoring Florida COVID success.” Fox Information. 29 Oct 2021.

Johns Hopkins College of Drugs. Coronavirus Useful resource Middle. Accessed 5 Nov 2021.

Jones, Brea. “COVID-19 Surges Amongst Unvaccinated in Florida, Opposite to Baseless Claims.” FactCheck.org. 30 Jul 2021.

Kevin Kiley” webpage. Ballotpedia. Accessed 2 Nov 2021.

Kiley, Kevin (@KevinKileyCA). “Florida now has the bottom COVID case fee and California is center of the pack. Isn’t it fascinating how an all-important metric all of a sudden not issues.” Twitter. 29 Oct 2021.

Leonhardt, David and Ashley Wu. “Has Delta Peaked?” New York Occasions. Up to date 17 Sep 2021.

“Michael D Sweat PhD” webpage. Medical College of South Carolina. Accessed 4 Nov 2021.

Fee of coronavirus (COVID-19) instances in america as of October 29, 2021, by state.” Statista. Accessed 2 Nov 2021.

Romano, Andrew. “Florida now has America’s lowest COVID fee. Does Ron DeSantis deserve credit score?” Yahoo Information. 27 Oct 2021.

Schneider, Mike. “Florida breaks document for COVID-19 hospitalizations.” AP Information. 1 Aug 2021.

Schutz, David. “Florida now has the bottom fee of day by day COVID instances per capita of some other state.” South Florida Solar-Sentinel. 29 Oct 2021.

Unites States Census Bureau. “2020 Inhabitants and Housing State Information.” 12 Aug. 2021.

Vakil, Caroline. “US passes grim milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths.” The Hill. 4 Nov 2021

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