As recommendations from his Re-Open Florida Task Force are being finalized, Gov. Ron DeSantis trumpeted coronavirus progress in Broward County.
The Governor, in Weston Saturday at the Cleveland Clinic, stressed recovery in the Florida region hardest hit by COVID-19.
Nearly 60% of the state’s roughly 31,000 cases have been pocketed in South Florida, with Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties joining Broward as a COVID-19 crucible.
DeSantis painted the clinic as a success story, with patients recovering there at a remarkable rate.
This offered a backdrop for a larger narrative of progress from crisis, a necessary prerequisite to getting the state of Florida back to business.
The Governor hit familiar talking points in remarks, including increasingly robust testing (now at 320,000 tests, with 37,000 results and under 2,000 positives in the last two days).
“The percentage [of positives] is declining,” DeSantis said. “The average positivity rate for new individuals is 7.5% in the state.”
A goal “by the summer,” DeSantis said, were “high throughput” labs, which could offer next day results for up to 10,000 tests a day. As well, pharmacists are now permitted to test for the pathogen.
ICU usage continues to decline, DeSantis said, more evidence of “flattening the curve.”
“With the curve flattening,” DeSantis noted that hospital resources are freer here than in harder-hit states.
Much of the press conference focused on specifics of the Cleveland Clinic, an interesting play to make on a weekend morning in a local market. The jargon-heavy presentation streamed on televisions across Florida.
The Governor peppered a panel of doctors from the clinics with questions, including why COVID-19 positive Floridians on ventilators survive at a higher rate than intubated patients in New York state.
“Very very high numbers coming out of New York,” DeSantis mused.
The Governor also asked a doctor a leading question regarding whether cases had “peaked,” and at the Cleveland Clinic, at least, that seems to be the case.
DeSantis also spotlighted media reports as having “put people on edge … more than after 9/11 or the financial crisis.”