Florida on Wednesday became tied for the lowest number of coronavirus cases per capita in the country despite criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pro-freedom approach to coronavirus measures.
Only Hawaii joined the Sunshine State, both reporting nine daily average cases per 100,000, according to the New York Times’ case map.
The Florida governor has been much maligned by the national media for the state’s response to the pandemic.
While blue states instituted statewide lockdowns, DeSantis opened Florida several months earlier than those states and never implemented a mask mandate.
At a time when Florida has reported some of the nation’s lowest Covid case numbers, most blue states that enforced harsher measures throughout the pandemic reported more cases per capita than Florida.
In Michigan, a state which had some of the strictest lockdown orders, cases dwarfed Florida on a per capita basis with 38 cases per 100,000.
New York State and Pennsylvania, both led by Democrat governors, also reported totals per capita far above those of the Sunshine State.
Gov. DeSantis’ office welcomed the news and released a statement celebrating the low case numbers.
“Without mandates or lockdowns, COVID-19 cases in Florida have decreased 90% since August,” DeSantis said. “In addition to cases, hospitalizations have plummeted in our state. This has been accomplished by making monoclonal antibody treatments and vaccines widely available throughout our state while protecting Floridians from government overreach.”
He also praised the economic prosperity of his state which has seen job growth of three times the national average.
DeSantis said, “Happy to report at a time of economic uncertainty, a lot of headwinds coming out of Washington, D.C. that for the month of September, Florida added over 84,000 new jobs.”
The governor’s office added: “Overall, Florida gained 84,500 jobs total, 72,500 of which are private-sector jobs. It added 50,000 workers over the last month, representing a “5.4% increase over the year, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 0.8%.”
Despite the good news from Florida, the national media has not expended nearly as much ink on the low case numbers as they did when Florida had a large uptick in cases last summer.