Death by DeSantis

ATeam

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There has been talk in this thread about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of certain state governors in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is a state's COVID-19 death rate a reasonable indicator of a governor's effectiveness?

If a state has a low COVID-19 death rate compared to others, can that state's governor be said to have done a good job managing the pandemic?
If a state has a high COVID-19 death rate compared to others, can that state's governor be said to have done a bad job managing the pandemic?

With the nation's summer surge now behind us, data exists that can be examined. What, if anything does the Florida data say about that governor's pandemic management?


Excerpts:

"More people were reported to have died [from COVID-19] in Florida since June 20 than in any other state — more than Texas, California, or Arizona. Even when Florida’s large population is factored in, Florida’s per-capita death rate was worse than all other states’, including smaller Southern states that suffered harsh summer surges, such as Louisiana and Arkansas."

"Since June 20, 84 out of every 100,000 Floridians were reported to have died of COVID-19, according to the CDC data. That rate, adjusting for Florida’s large population, is the worst in the nation."

"Among America’s 604 counties and parishes with at least 100,000 residents, the six counties with the worst death rates all were in Florida."

Related Question:

Regarding COVID-19 deaths, if the Florida governor himself says, "That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives," which he did say on Sept. 1 (source), does that mean a state's COVID-19 death rate is indeed a legitimate indicator of a governor's effectiveness?
 
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muttly

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Some should check back in a few months and see where the numbers are. The prediction is the virus will now affect the northern and Midwest states. In the meantime, he has kept businesses open so people can make a living, including businesses with Covid rich environments like gyms.
 

ATeam

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Some should check back in a few months and see where the numbers are. The prediction is the virus will now affect the northern and Midwest states. In the meantime, he has kept businesses open so people can make a living, including businesses with Covid rich environments like gyms.
We can check the numbers for any time period we want. Above was about the summer surge. The virus was first reported in Florida in March, 2020. If we wished, we could compare that date to present. Or we could compare calendar year 2020, year-to-date 2021, or any other time period.

The question remains the same. Regarding COVID-19 deaths, if the Florida governor himself says, "That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives," which he did say on Sept. 1 (source), does that mean a state's COVID-19 death rate is indeed a legitimate indicator of a governor's effectiveness?

Yes, DeSantis kept businesses open more than many other states (and I'm glad for it). But that's a different topic. I'm not asking if DeSantis did a good job for business. I'm asking the question above.

Regarding "the prediction" you mentioned above (vague term), the prediction is for a winter surge. Florida had a 2020, summer surge followed by a much higher surge in winter, 2020-2021. DeSantis used the 2020 surge chart to explain the rise and predict the end of the summer 2021 surge. Does that mean we can use the same chart to predict an even higher Florida winter 2021-2022 surge?

I hope not and I think not. I'm hoping enough Floridians have acquired immunity by vaccination, natural infection and/or monoclonal antibody treatments; and I'm hoping those immunities will be long-lasting enough to blunt any future surge. Time will tell, but that's my hope.

Today marks the seventh consecutive day where the number of Florida new infections was under 5,000. We have to go all the way back to June, 2021 to see the last time that happened. Back then, we were allowing ourselves to believe the pandemic may be winding down in this state. The Delta variant then came along and shattered that wishful thinking.

I'm encouraged by the under-5,000 number. I'm encouraged by the continually increasing number of vaccinated people (mandates are further boosting that number). Hopefully we'll be out of this mess soon.
 
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Turtle

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There has been talk in this thread about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of certain state governors in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's all just gibber jabber, because you can't manage a pandemic. Some governors will make decisions that, at least on the surface, looked like good or bad decisions, but they are all decisions based on hopes and guesses. Even the recommendations from scientists who are supposed to know what they are doing were either contradictory with each other or were at best marginally effective. It's one of the many reasons why politicizing a pandemic and the decisions made is just silly.
 
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Pilgrim

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We can check the numbers for any time period we want. Above was about the summer surge. The virus was first reported in Florida in March, 2020. If we wished, we could compare that date to present. Or we could compare calendar year 2020, year-to-date 2021, or any other time period.

The question remains the same. Regarding COVID-19 deaths, if the Florida governor himself says, "That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives," which he did say on Sept. 1 (source), does that mean a state's COVID-19 death rate is indeed a legitimate indicator of a governor's effectiveness?
There are all kinds of statistics available for measuring the effectiveness of managing a state, city or county during a pandemic. The following seems to be a fairly objective analysis of the states during a given week in Mid-Sept of this year, right after the DeSantis quote. It appears that Florida falls in the middle of most of the categories that factor into the "Safest States" rankings. Note that FL does rate favorably in death rate vs vaccination rate ratio.


Another analysis was done earlier in the year by a different group and came up with roughly the same results for states' overall management during the pandemic. Once again Florida fell into the middle of the pack, neither the best nor the worst. Click on the Here it is! link to see the chart. Note that NY was leading the pack at the time as the worst managed state.


My guess is that the covid pandemic will wane with time as herd immunity and vaccination rates take their course, and hopefully our political leaders will realize strict management of a pandemic is impossible. They can't control human behavior and certain segments of the population will never get the jab.
 

muttly

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We can check the numbers for any time period we want. Above was about the summer surge. The virus was first reported in Florida in March, 2020. If we wished, we could compare that date to present. Or we could compare calendar year 2020, year-to-date 2021, or any other time period.

The question remains the same. Regarding COVID-19 deaths, if the Florida governor himself says, "That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives," which he did say on Sept. 1 (source), does that mean a state's COVID-19 death rate is indeed a legitimate indicator of a governor's effectiveness?

Yes, DeSantis kept businesses open more than many other states (and I'm glad for it). But that's a different topic. I'm not asking if DeSantis did a good job for business. I'm asking the question above.

Regarding "the prediction" you mentioned above (vague term), the prediction is for a winter surge. Florida had a 2020, summer surge followed by a much higher surge in winter, 2020-2021. DeSantis used the 2020 surge chart to explain the rise and predict the end of the summer 2021 surge. Does that mean we can use the same chart to predict an even higher Florida winter 2021-2022 surge?

I hope not and I think not. I'm hoping enough Floridians have acquired immunity by vaccination, natural infection and/or monoclonal antibody treatments; and I'm hoping those immunities will be long-lasting enough to blunt any future surge. Time will tell, but that's my hope.

Today marks the seventh consecutive day where the number of Florida new infections was under 5,000. We have to go all the way back to June, 2021 to see the last time that happened. Back then, we were allowing ourselves to believe the pandemic may be winding down in this state. The Delta variant then came along and shattered that wishful thinking.

I'm encouraged by the under-5,000 number. I'm encouraged by the continually increasing number of vaccinated people (mandates are further boosting that number). Hopefully we'll be out of this mess soon.
Let me start out by prefacing that the Delta variant is much more contagious and that the vaccines, while initially have an impressive efficacy, wane rather rapidly after a couple months and is questionable how much protection an individual will have after 5 months or more. So there are a lot of variables to acknowledge that may play a role in numbers being up or down, especially in a state that hasn’t had severe lockdowns and crippled their state‘s businesses and prevented people from providing for their families.
Now regarding DeSantis, he did follow through on that message about saving lives. Early on protecting seniors in the Nursing Homes. Once the vaccinations were available( in not a large supply) he prioritize vaccinating seniors first before much younger and healthier first responders. He also made vaccinations easy to get. So easy that the author of this thread which is titled Death By DeSantis and has no love lost for him admitted (post#356)how easy it is to get vaccinated in his area in Florida.
Keep in mind the challenging demographics of many of the people in Florida that are reluctant to get vaccinated: Plenty of Trump supporters, many in the black population,and a large amount of Hispanics who are lagging other demographics in getting the vaccine. All this while keeping businesses open. I only mention the businesses part because when looking at numbers of cases and deaths it has to be noted that the high probability that there will be more than if you had an extreme lockdown with businesses closed and people locked in their homes. Another thing to consider is not only is some in the Demographics I listed reluctant to get vaccinated they are also at the same time some of most susceptible to becoming severely ill as well.
DeSantis showed initiative in securing more monoclonal antibodies when the Biden regime started cutting his supply and rationed for other states( Are they anticipating a huge surge in Delta up north?)
There isn’t a universal mandate to get the vaccine.
So ultimately a Governor can only create an environment in his state for its citizens to be able to take action and protect themselves( by getting vaccinated if vulnerable)and to have the best possible treatments available when someone is infected.
DeSantis has done this very well.
 
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Turtle

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If you can't manage a pandemic, what can you do? Or do you do nothing and simply let it run?
You can do whatever you can to maybe try and mitigate it a little. But if you could manage a pandemic it never would have gotten beyond an outbreak or the epidemic stage. This isn't about what one governor or another did or didn't do, this is a worldwide pandemic and not a single leader anywhere on the entire planet made any kind of definitive decision to control it. A lot of leaders and scientists made decisions that at least seemed to have worked short term, but the decisions didn't last to be effective long term.

The only way to deal with a pandemic isn't even realistic, because you'd have to shut down everything, including essential services like hospitals and grocery stores, and have everybody quarantine for 3 or 4 weeks with no contact whatsoever in order to stop the virus' ability to spread.

In the end, no matter what anyone has done, is doing, or will do, all you can really do is let it run its course and burn itself out through natural immunity, survival immunity or vaccinated immunity. And those are medical and biological decisions, not political decisions.
 
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ATeam

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The only way to deal with a pandemic isn't even realistic, because you'd have to shut down everything, including essential services like hospitals and grocery stores, and have everybody quarantine for 3 or 4 weeks with no contact whatsoever in order to stop the virus' ability to spread.
I agree. Theoretically, it is possible to stop the virus in its tracks, but as a practical matter it is not. Theoretically, we could lock down the world (not shut down but lock down), fixing everyone in place until the virus runs its course in those who have it but spreads no further for lack of hosts. But people will not abide such a rule, and if you want to keep services like a city water supply and an electric utility working, a certain number of people need to be out and about. You also need police and soldiers out and about to keep the masses locked down. And you'd need to have everyone stock up on food, medicine and such so they could stay locked down without the need to go out or have deliveries made.

When our governor shut down businesses and issued a statewide stay-at-home order he exempted liquor stores. Liquor stores did a booming business at this time because all the bars were closed. Why would you keep seemingly non-essential liquor stores open when so many other "non-essential" businesses were ordered closed? It's because the states did not want the social problems that would develop if you cut alcoholics off their drug.

While they did not say it in so many words, it was admitted by government officials then that the government and our country's alcoholics are in a dysfunctional co-dependent relationship. A relationship that by itself would render a full lock down ineffective if not catastrophic.

When our shutdown was in progress, people's behavior undermined its intended effect. Diane and I live in a gated retirement community. When we were ordered to close our gym and stay at home and maintain social distance from others to help keep the virus from spreading, it infuriated us to watch our neighbors head to the liquor stores to stock up on booze, clean out the grocery stores of meat, and group up for lengthy, unmasked, private barbecue parties in their back yards and card parties in their homes after dark. The people the governor was trying to protect with his mandates totally ignored the mandates; leaving businesses forced to close but continue paying their expenses. It was as if they were determined to spread the virus while small business owners were required to fight the good fight (big businesses like Walmart and Home Depot were allowed to remain fully open.

I questioned the notion of managing a pandemic because you don't do that at all. You don't manage a pandemic any more than you manage a flood or hurricane. Pandemics, floods and hurricanes are not self-aware. They don't care what you do or think about them. They don't even know they themselves exist. They just are.

You can manage people. That is done all the time. They are made to pay taxes. They are rewarded for going to work. They are taught to drive on the right side of the road. They are vaccinated before being allowed to enroll in school. Etc.

Finally, just as you cannot manage a pandemic, you cannot politicize a pandemic. A pandemic has no political opinion or intention.
 
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Turtle

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We learned a lot from the 1918 flu pandemic, but about the only thing from that pandemic that we implemented with this one is the social distancing. We learned then, and has been confirmed scientifically, that aerosol virus typically spread at 1-2 meters before gravity pulls them down. But that changes with crowds, and in enclosed spaces.

Satchel Page was once asked how he was able to get so many batters to swing and miss, and he just said, "I throw the ball where the bats aren't." Funny, yes, but it works with viruses, too. If you don't want to get the virus, don't go where the virus is. And that means stay away from other people, especially indoors, because that's where the virus is.

Another thing we learned from 1918, and completely ignored this time around, was when hospitals overflowed and people had to be, for lack of a better word, stored outdoors, some in the open and some in tents, those stored outdoors survived at a much higher rate and had less severe symptoms than those inside the hospital.

When I had to mail a small package out on the road I drove past the Wichita airport Post Office and it looked like Walmart a few days before Christmas. You could almost see the covid hanging in the air. So after my delivery out at a wind farm I found the teeniest, tiniest, nobody-in-there Post Office I could find, in a town of about 350 people, and it was one clerk and me. I'm at home now and do the same. I don't go to the Post Office 6 blocks away, I go 10 miles out to a Post Office that's about the size of a one-car garage.

I thought keeping the big box stores open and shutting everything else down was astonishingly stupid. With everything else shut down, the only place to go was a big box store, making them more crowded than normal. Most Walmarts did similar, but the one here closed every entrance except one, and funneled everyone in and out through that one narrow entranced, thereby concentrating covid in the air right there where everyone needed to pass through. And it was the entrance farthest away from the pharmacy.

Reminds me of Apollo 11 when they quarantined the astronauts out of fear that they might have brought back a pathogen from the Moon. They did that after they allowed the space capsule to splash down in the ocean. Uhm...

When I filled prescriptions at Walmart I didn't go in, I had them bring it out to me. I've since moved prescriptions to Kroger so I use the drive-thru. When I grocery shop I use Instacart.

I'm at home full time now, and I DoorDash full time. And even though I'm vaccinated I wear a mask when I pick up the orders. The vast majority of my deliveries are "Leave at my door," so I don't have to wear a mask at most of the deliveries. Delivering to the college dorms area leave at the front desk. Deliveries to the hospital are leave at the ER and somebody will come down and get it. Although I do wear a mask to enter the dorms and the ER. But it's in and out, 2 seconds.
 
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Pilgrim

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When our governor shut down businesses and issued a statewide stay-at-home order he exempted liquor stores. Liquor stores did a booming business at this time because all the bars were closed. Why would you keep seemingly non-essential liquor stores open when so many other "non-essential" businesses were ordered closed? It's because the states did not want the social problems that would develop if you cut alcoholics off their drug.
TN kept their liquor stores open too, and for a while it was curb service or call-ahead pickup. Why were they allowed to stay open you ask? TAXES. Although TN has the highest sales tax rate in the country, they like FL have sin taxes as well that help keep the coffers full when many stores were closed. Gun stores were allowed to remain open as well. Guns and ammo were selling like crazy during that period, generating considerable tax revenue to the state.
 
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ATeam

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TN kept their liquor stores open too, and for a while it was curb service or call-ahead pickup. Why were they allowed to stay open you ask? TAXES.
That's not even close to accurate. If taxes was a driving reason to keep businesses open, businesses would have been kept open.

Every month, our gym sends thousands of dollars to the state for sales taxes. When we completed our sales tax return for our first full shutdown month, I actually felt sorry for the Department of Revenue and the public officials who rely on the revenue to help fund the government. I was shocked to see us sending just a few dollars to the state when we usually send thousands.

It shocked me because hundreds of thousands of Florida businesses had been similarly closed, which meant our near-zero sales tax submission was repeated that many times. At the same time, the state's unemployment expenses were skyrocketing. Just as businesses felt the strain of zero revenue and continuing expenses, the state felt the strain of suddenly plummeting revenue and suddenly increasing expenses.

Yet they closed businesses and kept them closed for an extended period of time. To fight the virus, the state shut businesses down and ordered people to stay home, which meant the state intentionally and knowingly gave up the taxes businesses and consumers pay; even while greatly increasing state expenses for unemployment benefits.

There were reasons why liquor and gun stores were kept open, but taxes was not one of them.
 
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Pilgrim

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That's not even close to accurate. If taxes was a driving reason to keep businesses open, businesses would have been kept open.

Every month, our gym sends thousands of dollars to the state for sales taxes. When we completed our sales tax return for our first full shutdown month, I actually felt sorry for the Department of Revenue and the public officials who rely on the revenue to help fund the government. I was shocked to see us sending just a few dollars to the state when we usually send thousands.

It shocked me because hundreds of thousands of Florida businesses had been similarly closed, which meant our near-zero sales tax submission was repeated that many times. At the same time, the state's unemployment expenses were skyrocketing. Just as businesses felt the strain of zero revenue and continuing expenses, the state felt the strain of suddenly plummeting revenue and suddenly increasing expenses.

Yet they closed businesses and kept them closed for an extended period of time. To fight the virus, the state shut businesses down and ordered people to stay home, which meant the state intentionally and knowingly gave up the taxes businesses and consumers pay; even while greatly increasing state expenses for unemployment benefits.

There were reasons why liquor and gun stores were kept open, but taxes was not one of them.
First of all, I wasn't referring to all businesses - just liquor stores. They're easy to keep open, and contrary to your opinion they generate a significant amount of revenue when times are tough for the states. Why turn that off when the states are scraping for every nickel they can find?

The article below explains it better; please refer to the second reason listed:

"Liquor stores are a money-maker for the government.
In short, taxes on alcohol bring governments on all levels a TON of money.
In 2018, revenue from alcohol taxes amounted to more than $10 billion, according to Statista."



I included gun stores as an afterthought due to the high level of sales activity and the sales taxes they generate in TN.
 
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ATeam

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First of all, I wasn't referring to all businesses - just liquor stores. They're easy to keep open, and contrary to your opinion they generate a significant amount of revenue when times are tough for the states. Why turn that off when the states are scraping for every nickel they can find?
I'm not disputing that liquor stores generate tax dollars. That's obvious. But I do not believe states kept them open for tax reasons alone or even primarily. If it was about every nickel, they would have kept all businesses open.

But it was not about every nickel. To me, the shutdowns seem like a panic response in which politicians had no clue about what would happen, even as they desperately tried to navigate the political fallout. If you're such a leader in such a situation, what do you do? Knowing that cutting people off their liquor would lead to major social problems (death, withdrawal, domestic violence, stills, rum runners, etc.), they chose to declare liquor stores essential ... not for the social good and taxes liquor provides, but to avoid the greater harm.

This NC state senator is one of several leaders who clearly stated one of the reasons:

"Why are liquor stores still open?" Jackson asked rhetorically ...
"It’s because we have a lot of people who are chemically dependent on alcohol and if we suddenly cut off their access they would go into withdrawal and flood the emergency rooms, which we can’t have right now," he said. (source)

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said there’s a medical reason behind the exemption for liquor stores. (same source)

I could find more such items to make my point. Note the difference between the elected and state officials talking and ordinary citizens. A lot of people make the tax assumption. The leaders I quote, and additional ones I can quote talk about the medical and social reasons for keeping the liquor stores open.

I find it very sad that our nation is as dependent on alcohol as these circumstances show and prohibition previously showed.
 
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muttly

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Almost a month ago ending stats from previous total 4 weeks prior.I heard Florida’s numbers are dropping like a rock more recently. But I didn’t hear it on the Fake News media sites. Imagine that.
 
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ATeam

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Almost a month ago ending stats from previous total 4 weeks prior.I heard Florida’s numbers are dropping like a rock more recently. But I didn’t hear it on the Fake News media sites. Imagine that.
Because it affects our business, I check FL COVID-19 numbers almost every day. No media outlet is needed to do that. Simply go directly to the sources that originate the data; the same sources the media goes to when they see fit to do a COVID-19 story.

While "dropping like a rock" is a good thing, that's half the story. The other half is the "soaring like a rocket" part that comprised the front end of the 3-month surge.
 
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