Florida Reports Only Single-Digit Increase In Virus Deaths For First Time In Almost 7 Months

On Monday, Florida state health officials revealed that the state recorded a single-digit increase in COVID-19-related deaths for the first time in almost seven months.

“The state health department said seven more Floridians and two additional non-residents have died due to COVID-19,” The Palm Beach Post reported Sunday. “Over the past two weeks, daily reported COVID deaths across the state have ranged between 22 and 98, and the week-to-week reported deaths have been on a slow decline since January. Just five new coronavirus deaths in Florida were reported Sept. 28.”

No new deaths were reported in Palm Beach county.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has administered nearly 12 million doses of coronavirus vaccine,” The Hill noted. Since last Saturday, almost one million people in Florida have gotten a COVID vaccine, as now anyone 16 and older is eligible.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who refused to institute harsh lockdowns in his state,  recently conducted a roundtable discussion with a group of physicians and scientists who were, as The Wall Street Journal reported last week, “critical of strict lockdowns to fight the coronavirus.” During the video, DeSantis and the experts criticized some responses in the U.S. as too strict and ultimately ineffective, citing the damage done on a public-health level by locking down schools and businesses.  They emphasize unintended public-health harms from lockdowns and school closures, criticize ma

The video was censored by YouTube. The platform told the Journal it removed the video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

DeSantis blasted the decision on Monday, asserting, “The biggest media conglomerates, who claim to be avatars of the First Amendment and free exchange of ideas, they’ve really become cheerleaders for censorship. If something doesn’t fit the overriding narrative, then in their view it’s better that it gets left on the cutting-room floor. It’s best that you edit it out of existence rather than tell people the truth. So I think what we’re really witnessing is Orwellian; it’s a Big Tech, corporate collusion and the end result is that the narrative is always right. Well, I don’t think that’s what the American people want; certainly people here in Florida.”

The editorial board of the Journal slammed YouTube’s censorship of DeSantis, writing:

[I]t’s not even clear that the panelists’ opposition to masking in children contradicts the World Health Organization, which says “children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks” and that “the decision to use masks for children aged 6-11” depends on context.

But whether the panelists’ views are right or wrong should not matter. Florida’s lighter-touch approach to Covid-19 is a topic of intense public debate, and this video offers a window into the thinking of the Governor and people who influence him. Even the most committed lockdown and mask hawk should be outraged that YouTube is banishing videos that bear directly on democratic accountability, including taxpayer-funded public hearings.

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