DeSantis: Media "Frightening" People About COVID-19 For Political Purposes | Video | RealClearPolitics

DeSantis: Media "Frightening" People About COVID-19 For Political Purposes

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) spoke with Rush Limbaugh Wednesday afternoon about the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is being used for political purposes.

"Look, if they're using it for political reasons because they don't like Republican governors, whatever, fine... but here's the thing that bothers me is that people do get frightened when they see some of this stuff and it does that it does deter some people potentially from going in to seek care and that is a bad consequence to have happen," DeSantis said with concern.


RUSH LIMBAUGH: Every day we're being inundated, we're being pummeled, with a record number of new cases reported, every day setting records in your state in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and as I look at it if it appears an effort being made to associate the number of cases with either instant death or ultimate death, that this number is going to lead to that same number dying.

I looked at the death rate, it is actually coming way down as the number of cases rises, the death rate is down, and Dr. Fauci says that is a false premise. I don't understand what he means by that. Why in the world is that not good news?

GOV. RON DESANTIS: Obviously it is good news. I think the biggest part of the reason we have a lower fatality rate in Florida is because we really focused on protecting those people who are most vulnerable to the virus, such as our senior citizens living in long-term care facilities. We barred hospital from sending the sick coronavirus patients back into nursing homes because we knew it would spread among the vulnerable population. If you compare that with the states that did the opposite, where they forced them back again you know that the numbers speak for themselves.

But we've also done since March and April is we've established twelve COVID-only nursing facilities around the state so that if someone tests positive in a nursing home they can't be isolated properly, we have a place to can be transferred. So we've done a lot of things like that to lower the burden on the most vulnerable, but you also look at things like we are testing way more than what we are testing in March and April. And it's definitely true, California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, we have seen more spread over the past 3 weeks, I mean that that is true, but we're also testing anyone who walks in the door...

So what we're dealing with now is different then the Northeast in March and April, and if you look at Texas, look at Florida, look at some of those states, we had what we thought everyone said we wanted -- a flatter curve. But we're really good shape to be able to deal with it...

But yeah I think the outcomes you know really what matters... Flatten The Curve was never that we wouldn't have any more infections, it was to spread them out over a longer period of time... Our case fatality rate is like 4 or 5 times lower than some of the higher-death states that we had in the Northeast...

In March and April, because of the amount of fear and hysteria that was out there, you had a huge drop in people coming for things like heart attacks and strokes, and so what happened is people put off care, they thought they may get the virus in the hospital, or they thought that all the hospital were overflowing with corona patients, they didn't want to go in because of that, and now you have people that are going back and showing up to get the care they need. Now, unfortunately, some of those folks who deferred care, their conditions are more acute now but we would rather have them going and get the care they need.

What they don't tell you when they run these things, as you know in Florida, right now we've got about 6000 ICU beds available statewide, we've got about 1000 available, but they usually run much higher than that. They usually run at 95-98%, thats hospital work. You know we had between 15 to 20% available for the past like 5 or 6 weeks... And one of the things that the media was doing in Florida, they're going around saying here's all the counties that have no ICU capacity, which is actually a grain of truth, because we have a lot of rural counties that don't have ICUs at all, so if somebody needs that type of care they go to one of the bigger medical systems in the state.

And so a lot of it is being put out I think to scare people, it is not productive. Look, if they're using it for political reasons because they don't like Republican governors, whatever, fine... but here's the thing that bothers me is that people do get frightened when they see some of this stuff and it does that it does deter some people potentially from going in to seek care and that is a bad consequence to have happen.
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