The Florida Medical Association on Wednesday praised Gov. Ron DeSantis for his “strong, immediate” response to the coronavirus threat.
A key facet of their satisfaction: The Governor brought the medical community to the table in his administration’s efforts to contain the virus’ spread.
On Sunday, DeSantis issued an executive order directing Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to declare a state public health emergency because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Soon after, DeSantis and the Department of Health reached out to FMA in an effort to provide Florida’s doctors with the resources they need to prepare and respond.
“The Florida Medical Association thanks Governor DeSantis for his leadership at this crucial time, and for engaging our 25,000 members as partners in protecting the public health,” said FMA President Ronald Giffler.
“We are working closely with the Governor, Dr. Rivkees and the Department to ensure that Florida physicians have the latest information and protocols as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will continue referring physicians to the Department’s COVID-19 resource page, which is constantly being updated, and the FMA stands ready to assist in any way that we can.”
On Tuesday, DeSantis announced there were three “presumptively positive” cases of the coronavirus in the state. As of Wednesday, 247 people were under public health monitoring in Florida, and two cases had been confirmed — one in Manatee County and one in Hillsborough County.
Worldwide, more than 95,000 people have been sickened and 3,200 have died, the vast majority of them in China. Most cases have been mild.
Giffler asserted that DOH has been diligent in monitoring presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, mobilizing epidemiology teams statewide, and taking special precautions to safeguard assisted living facilities and nursing homes, as elderly patients are at particularly high risk.
“The FMA is confident that Governor DeSantis and the Department are doing everything possible to minimize the virus’ impact on Floridians,” Dr. Giffler said. “On behalf of the patients our members serve, we are committed to helping achieve that goal.”