DeSantis says only news media concerned about COVID-19 spread from Super Bowl celebrations
VENICE, Fla. (WCJB) - A highly contagious variant of COVID-19 is spreading faster in Florida than any other state.
The CDC has reported 343 infections of the U.K variant in the Sunshine State, known as B.1.1.7, as of Wednesday. California is the only state to come close to that number with 156 cases.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not concerned about the variant, however.
“In terms of the U.K. variant, here’s what we know,” DeSantis said during his press conference in Venice, Fla.. “We know based on all the evidence that these vaccines are going to be effective against that, and that’s really the main concern...If we get the seniors vaccinated we’re going to be good and that’s what we’re going to do.”
During his press conference, he praised the state’s less restrictive approach and criticized states that, he says, “are intent on closing people down.”
Super Bowl celebrations in the Tampa Bay region were heavily scrutinized across the country over the weekend. Scenes like the one in the video below are worrying public health officials and some elected officials.
DeSantis says the media has driven the fear.
“The media is worried about that; obviously, you guys really love that,” DeSantis said. “You don’t care as much if it’s a quote ‘peaceful protest,’ then it’s fine. You don’t care as much if they’re celebrating a Biden election, you only care about it if it’s people that you don’t like. So I’m a Bucs fan. I’m damn proud of what they did.”
When asked about UK epidemiologist Neil Ferguson’s data that the UK variant increases the risk of death, DeSantis dismissed the idea.
“If there’s data that comes out, not an academic model from Neil Ferguson, but actual data that comes out that we should let people know about, or that should change the approach of vaccine or any of that, obviously you’re going to follow that and see,” DeSantis said. “But I can tell you most of what I’ve seen about it has been more based on modeling rather than based on actual evidence.”
There are now at least five cases of the UK COVID-19 variant in Alachua county. This information was shared during the Alachua County Commission meeting on Tuesday.
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