Florida Sets Record Daily Death Toll a Day After Desantis Boasts About Numbers Declining

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wears a protective face mask as he leaves a news conference at the Urban League of Broward County, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida had a record death toll on Wednesday, with 60 new deaths reported. The state now has 28,832 cases and 960 fatalities. This morning, over half of that number has been reported at 33, on pace to be the most deadly day for Florida residents.

In a press conference yesterday, Desantis praised Orange County, saying coronavirus numbers were declining and much lower than expected.

“Orange County with the theme parks?” DeSantis said. “Just think of how many people came through there in January through March … All those people from all over the world going there. And you have a situation where it’s down to 24 new cases today, 13 the day before. Orange County has 75 total COVID hospitalizations. Central Florida, Orange County, they’ve done a really good job.”

DeSantis again pointed out that the state had “flattened the curve” , noting that reality is far different from the scenario predicted by some models weeks ago. Speaking to a working group focused on agriculture and healthcare, the governor said Florida had significantly less hospitalizations per capita and deaths per capita than states in the Northeast.

“I can tell you, there were a lot of dire predictions made. People were talking about Florida being the next Italy or New York,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also criticized people who criticized Jacksonville’s decision to reopen its beaches, which led to large numbers of people heading to the beaches on the first day and the Twitter hashtag, “#FloridaMorons.”

He said Jacksonville’s coronavirus numbers were much less than in New York and New Jersey, adding, “I would stand with you over the folks critical of you any day of the week.”

DeSantis said that most coronavirus transmissions occurred in the home and said “being outdoors and in the sunshine” in Florida “was a better environment to be in.”

Data updated Wednesday now show Florida’s projected fatalities will be 1,620 by June 8, with an estimated range of 999 to 3,381. Florida’s projected death total had been consistently falling with each update, assuming social distancing continues until infections are minimized. The projections come from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which the Trump administration has used in crafting its pandemic response.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 76 percent of Florida voters said the state’s economy should reopen only when public health officials declare it safe, compared with 17 percent who said it should reopen even if public health officials warned against it.

A similar online Facebook poll by The Space Coast Rocket showed almost identical results.

Locally, in a Facebook post by Brevard County Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis, he shared a position held by Melbourne Deputy Mayor Paul Alfrey on opening businesses.

Local elected officials are split on the correct approach for Brevard County. State Representative Randy Fine has turned his campaign Facebook page for reelection into an information conduit for those seeking updates and resources. Within a month his following has doubled form 10k to 20k as he pushes the seriousness of the virus often referencing worst case scenarios from prediction models.

Brevard County Commissioner Chair Bryan Lober who initially downplayed the seriousness of the virus, saying it was nothing more than the common flu, and not remotely as bad as a category 5 hurricane has since changed his position. He found himself on the minority side of several 4-1 votes by the County Commission critical of his handling of his duties as the Chair of the Policy Group who is charged with making decisions during a declared emergency. Lober was asked to resign from his duties on the Policy Group and was replaced by County Commissioner Rita Pritchett.

Officials on the other side emphasize getting the public back out of the house. Sheriff Wayne Ivey held a drive-thru parade of first responders in 4 different locations. Video showed deputies handing out stickers to children with no gloves or masks. Now it is believed that several of those responders who participated have tested positive for the virus.

Officials struggle with decisions on balancing safety and the economy in the handling of this virus. Domestic violence crimes have risen as have theft from vehicles parked in driveways. Local beaches like Satellite and Cocoa Beach have eased their restrictions whiles others remain limited to specific activities.

As promised resources from State and Federal governments have yet to arrive for over 90% of the people, bills continue to add up with no source of income for most. People filing for unemployment in Florida ballooned by more than 500,000 people last week, almost three times as many as the week before.

In a post by Randy Fine, he claims that the current backlog of unemployment claims would not be cleared for over 2 months at the current rate. Fine who has been hesitant to be critical of the governor states this is unacceptable.


  1. trump boy indeed…if your dead, whether an owner or a customer, what does it matter? desantis definitely making a mistake following in the footsteps of the orange-man…garner some balls [ not baseballs ] and do the right thing. maybe for once YOUR thing.

  2. Get what you vote for. The majority of Floridians said this is who we want for Governor. He was a Trumpster and proud of it. No sympathy for Florida residents at all. Get the fuck out and vote and you wouldnt have a Governor that could care less about you dying as long as the economy is back up and running.

  3. I Agree ? percent U Idiots Who Voted for This Fool and his Advocates ?. Now U Wonder WHY and it’s Because U Republicans Asked for this Death Toll ?. Maybe the Reeper should Hit your Home ?

  4. Governor Desantis dont you think it’s time to stop boasting about the declining numbers and be quiet, be patient, be still and wait. Perhaps you should be in Prayer & let God speak to you before committing Mass murder & genocide on the population of Florida. 960 people died. It is nowhere near time to end the quarentine not open up Florida. If you appease Trump? You will have have blood on your hands a mass death toll.

  5. Sorry all you libtarded demonrats got you panties in a bunch. Y’all keep watching and listening to fake news. TRUMP 2020

  6. Glad things are re opening. I don’t wish death upon anybody even though they have a difference in opinion from me. Nor do I wish the death of thousands of small businesses in Florida. The numbers are really not that high in Florida except for Dade County and that’s because of the extreme overpopulation and tourism industry there. Still the death rate is very low. Stop being hateful toward other people are wanting to go back to normal. If you are afraid stay home and leave the rest of us alone who can see through the façade of this bullshit


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