DeSantis to CBS Miami: Florida was prepared for COVID-19 surge

“I never said we didn’t have to deal with the virus,” DeSantis said.

MIAMI – Governor Ron DeSantis, speaking to WFOR-TV Monday, said Florida was ready when COVID-19 cases rose months after promoting the state rather than becoming the next epicenter.

“So we went through the first phase. That was the whole point of flattening the curve. I never said we didn’t have to deal with the virus,” DeSantis told Jim DeFede of CBS Miami. “It didn’t go away. Now we didn’t know when we would be exposed to any type of wave, but we saw it, just like every other state in our region, towards the end of June. But you know what? We were prepared for it. You know, we had the systems installed, we had the resources installed.

“It wasn’t easy. Part of that is the tests. I mean, if you look at the number of tests done, that’s pretty common. We’re going to have 100,000 test results in a single day.”

He also pointed to COVID-only care facilities, new state testing sites and PPE being sent to nursing homes to prepare the state to fight the virus.

The state’s 14-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases was below 800 in May, but rose in the weeks that followed, rising to a high of at least 11,400 cases towards the end of July.

DeSantis, visibly upset when he spoke to reporters on May 20 when Vice President Mike Pence stood by, followed up on critics who said Florida would turn out to be New York or Italy. There have been spikey COVID-19 cases and deaths in both locations.

“Hell, we’re eight weeks away from it and it didn’t happen,” said DeSantis.

Florida has since surpassed New York and Italy in total COVID-19 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. It follows both in the number of deaths by the thousands.

DeSantis has largely attributed the high number of COVID-19 cases to increased testing, but the data shows that this was not always the case.

As the number of cases increased, so did the number of reported hospitalizations and deaths. The infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said COVID-19 is following this particular pattern.

Florida’s 14-day moving average of daily confirmed deaths rose to an all-time high of 153 deaths on August 1 in mid-July.

DeSantis also spoke to CBS Miami about schools, unemployment wages and other topics. Visit the website for more.

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