DeSantis and social media post error on Florida COVID-19 toll


SciCheck Digest

Florida’s total rate of COVID-19 cases is higher than the national rate and 10th highest in the United States. the impact of the pandemic’s toll on the state.

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In early November, the United States passed 750,000 deaths from COVID-19 and has recorded more than 46 million cases since the start of the pandemic. Florida has the 10th highest cumulative case rate pandemic, according to federal, state and local data compiled by the New York Times.

Daily cases of COVID-19 in Florida has surged in the past year, as we have reported, with the state reaching record rate of hospitalizations due to illness early August. However, the daily number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Florida has declined in recent weeks, according to the Florida Department of Health, as the wave of cases caused by the delta variant diminishes.

Steadily declining cases have led to sunny weather social media posts proclaiming that Florida has the “lowest Covid rates in the country without having to institute communist mandates and blockades. “

“Florida now has the lowest COVID case rate and California is in the middle of the pack,” a screenshot read from a Tweeter of Republican congressman from California Kevin Kiley. “Isn’t it interesting that a very important measure suddenly doesn’t matter anymore?” “

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also bragged about his state’s recent COVID-19 data.In an October 29 interview on Fox News’Ingraham Angle. Host Laura Ingraham presented DeSantis saying, “Florida is one of the great COVID success stories that the media would rather ignore altogether. Now, the Sunshine State now has one of the lowest daily case and death rates on the market. “

DeSantis replied: “I guess Florida is no longer part of the United States. They just pretend we don’t exist. He also said: “Now that we are in a situation where we have very low numbers, you don’t hear any noise.”

Social media posts and DeSantis are correct that Florida Daily The rate of COVID-19 cases is currently low. But what is not said is that Florida total the case rate is consistently higher than the national rate and among the highest in the United States

Since November 5, the seven day average of COVID-19 cases for Florida was 7 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Times database as of November 5. Florida was tied with Louisiana for the fewest daily cases per 100,000 among the 50 states.

But, as our graph below illustrates, Florida has the 10th highest case rate – over 17,000 per 100,000 people – when measured by its total number of cases during the pandemic, as of November 5. This is higher than the national case rate of 13,995 per 100,000 people.

According to data compiled by the New York Times, Florida – the third largest state – has the third highest number of deaths and cases of COVID-19 in the country, with more than 3.6 million case and over 59,000 deaths since February 2020. Adjusted for population, Florida’s COVID-19 death rate also ranks 10th among the 50 states, with 278 deaths per 100,000 people.

The recent increase and decrease in cases in Florida corresponds to a model that health experts have seen with others variants, where cases peak and decrease over a period two month cycle.

“There’s this weird two month thing going on. We all picked it up ”, Michael Sweat, professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and head of its COVID-19 monitoring team, noted in a college blog post. “I mean, it’s like every time you get a wave, it goes up, peaks and fades in about two months.”

Florida – along along with Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Kentucky – followed this trend, as cases started to increase in late June and started to decline in August. Only the seven-day average rate of cases in Kentucky is higher than the seven-day average rate in the United States, as of November 5.

Editor’s Note: SciCheck’s COVID-19 / Vaccination Project is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control over the editorial decisions of, and the opinions expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while reducing the impact of misinformation.


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