Declaring the Sunshine State a “beacon of light,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) shared his state’s success in handling the coronavirus pandemic—including keeping businesses and schools open and making sure senior citizens have been protected in terms of prioritizing vaccine distribution to them—during his annual “State of the State” address on Tuesday.
“While so many other states kept locking people down,” DeSantis said, “Florida lifted people up.”
He also said, “From the outset, Florida has been steadfast in focusing efforts on the protection of our elderly population. We rejected the policy of sending contagious COVID patients back into nursing homes; indeed, we prohibited the practice,” he added—an indirect reference to the state of New York’s tragic nursing home scandal, which occurred under Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
“Florida also established COVID-only nursing facilities so that infections in long-term care facilities could be more effectively contained,” added DeSantis.
“There are not a whole lot of Floridians who are itching to move from Florida to lockdown states,” DeSantis commented, “but there are thousands and thousands of people who are seeking to leave the lockdowns behind for the greener pastures here in the state of Florida.”
“We have long been known as the Sunshine State,” DeSantis also said—“but, given the unprecedented lockdowns we have witnessed in other states, I think the Florida sun now serves as a beacon of light to those who yearn to live in freedom.”
In starkly different messaging, however, President Joe Biden said at the White House on Wednesday that it was “Neanderthal thinking” for the states of Texas and Mississippi to be reopening now and dropping their mask mandates, as their respective governors have announced.
The actions of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) come as cases of COVID are dropping and vaccines are available.
This week, the White House said Johnson & Johnson and Merck were teaming up to quicken vaccine production—and now the month of July, not May, is the projected time frame in which enough vaccines are said to become available for all Americans.
It was President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed that put vaccine creation and production in motion in the first place—and achieved record-breaking success that few experts thought possible. This past December, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for the first two COVID-19 vaccines, one by Pfizer and the other by Moderna.
Each require two doses.
The FDA issued emergency use authorization for a third vaccine against COVID-19, the Janssen vaccine, on Feb. 27, 2021. It’s a single-dose vaccine. The authorization was issued to Janssen Biotech Inc., a Janssen Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson.
Yet Biden took a swipe at the reopening actions by some states—a swipe that seems to go firmly against his own words about the importance of “unity” in America.
“The last, uh, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask. Forget it. It still matters,” Biden told a gathered group at the White House. “As of last—as of yesterday— we had lost 511,874 Americans. We’re gonna lose thousands more,” Biden said as his voice trailed off.
The new president is under fire for his “Neanderthal” comment, with some likening it to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 “basket of deplorables” comment about Trump voters.
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By Maureen Mackey. She is a writer, editor, web content strategist, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.