It's time for media to say 'We're sorry' to Ron DeSantis
By: Washington Examiner
It’s time for the media to admit that they got this whole thing all wrong. They painted Cuomo a hero and made a scapegoat of DeSantis and reality is the other way around. DeSantis, Kemp, Abbott, Noem and the other governors who never did a stay at home mandatory lockdown were the ones who got it right.
When the coronavirus first appeared in Florida, the media’s predictions were dire. Many expected the state to experience a crisis similar to New York’s since thousands of New Yorkers fled their home state for Florida in the early days of the pandemic. Others claimed Florida’s outbreak would be just as bad, if not worse, than Italy’s, given that Florida is a huge tourist destination with a major international city and that it has a sizable elderly population.
Health officials echoed these warnings, arguing that Florida’s hospitals would be overwhelmed and that the state’s open beaches would become breeding grounds for the virus.
Not one of these predictions proved true.
Florida’s outbreak was largely contained within three populous southern counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
The state’s nursing homes have been able to prevent the spread of the virus better than long-term care facilities in other states, such as New York and Michigan, because Gov. Ron DeSantis took early action to close these facilities to the public. And unlike New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, DeSantis discouraged hospitals from sending coronavirus patients back to nursing homes, pressuring them to continue caring for patients throughout the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The result has been a steady downward decline in confirmed cases and deaths, with a total of 2,096 confirmed deaths as of Wednesday. In contrast, New York has had 23,083 deaths — or more than 10 times as many. Keep in mind that Florida has not only a larger population than New York but more than a million additional residents over 65.
Even though Cuomo has been treated with adoring coverage despite presiding over one of the worst outbreaks in the world, DeSantis has been treated with nothing but ire.
When he began to reopen his state slowly, his decision was again met with criticism from those who warned that the governor was moving too quickly. But, again, the anticipated disaster has yet to materialize. As of right now, Florida’s reopening has proceeded without a major rise in cases .
Yet few of the health officials or media reporters who predicted disaster, which they attributed to DeSantis’s “stupidity,” have recanted or admitted that maybe, just maybe, DeSantis was right all along.
It is completely fair to demand a recantation given the seriousness of the allegations leveled against DeSantis. The governor was told he had “blood on his hands,” and his response to the virus was slammed as “inadequate, ill-conceived, poorly executed, and cowardly.” One writer even went so far as to accuse DeSantis of actively “killing” Floridians.
Why? Because DeSantis was reluctant to approach the shutdown with a top-down, one-size-fits-all strategy; because he raised concerns about forcing churches to close; and because he followed the actual data instead of drafting panic-driven policy.
Even now, the media refuse to give DeSantis the credit he’s due, chalking up his state’s successful response to fudged data and corruption, despite the fact that there is no evidence supporting either allegation.
“You’ve got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York," DeSantis rightfully lamented this week. "‘Wait two weeks, Florida’s going to be next’; ‘Just like Italy, wait two weeks.’ Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened. We’ve succeeded, and I think that people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative. It challenges their assumption, so they’ve got to try to find a bogeyman.”
DeSantis’s frustration is warranted. He was right, and his critics were wrong. It's time for them to say "We're sorry."