Gov. DeSantis touts Florida vaccinations while down-playing new cases
Image via AP.

DeSantis 7.12.21
He stopped short of encouraging reluctant Floridians to get a shot.

Florida has done a good job distributing COVID-19 vaccinations to people who want them, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared Tuesday — though he stopped short of encouraging anyone to get one.

Speaking in Orlando at a press conference highlighting his civics education initiatives, DeSantis lauded his administration’s efforts to distribute vaccines, but he said nothing about whether he thinks people should get the shots.

He also downplayed reports of rising COVID-19 numbers in many parts of Florida, saying they show a seasonal rise in cases that was expected.

DeSantis’ continuing theme of victory over COVID-19 once again runs counter to what many local officials are expressing as they see the numbers of COVID-19 cases rising and the numbers of people getting vaccinated falling sharply in recent weeks. Some local leaders are pleading with people to get vaccinated.

After averaging 10,000-12,000 new cases of COVID-19 per week for most of June, Florida recorded about 16,000 new cases for the week ending July 1, and then almost 24,000 new cases in the most recently reported weekly total, through July 8.

Meanwhile, far fewer people are getting vaccinated now than in the spring. By early June, 53% of Floridians had received at least one vaccine shot. That number crept up only sligtly to 58% by early July.

“We’ve done a good job of making it available,” DeSantis said when asked what his message would be to people who have not yet received the vaccine.

He pointed out that the state has been exceptionally successful with senior vaccinations, noting the vaccination rate is around 85% for them. He also presumed the state is doing well in seeing people with high-risk health conditions to get vaccinated.

His office responded to an inquiry by saying state officials, including the Governor, have consistently encouraged Floridians to receive the vaccine. The Florida Department of Health also is undertaking a variety of campaigns — through radio, billboards, social media, digital, cable, streaming, and door knocking — to promote vaccinations as safe, effective and free of charge.

DeSantis did not take the opportunity to do so Tuesday in Orlando, where local officials are particularly alarmed by rising COVID-19 infection rates. He also expressed no concern about the current rising numbers in COVID-19 cases.

“What we said — I made this comment at the beginning of May — look, this is a seasonal pattern. We knew it was going to be low in May, and it was. And we knew that at the end of June and July it would go up. Because that’s what happened last year,” DeSantis said. “And that’s not just unique to Florida.”

In 2020 Florida saw a significant decline in COVID-19 cases through May and June. DeSantis began reopening much of the state at that time. And then a major surge of cases began in late June and did not abate until late August. Florida’s second major coronavirus surge began in late November and extended through January.

DeSantis reiterated his confidence that Florida’s most vulnerable — seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are safely vaccinated, for the most part.

“So I think what you’re seeing with the positive tests, I think it is generally unvaccinated people who are in some of those lower age groups,” DeSantis said.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]



    July 13, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Z I O N is not a name
    Busch Gardens Tampa
    Home of Kliedsdale Horses
    Offered Free Beer to take
    Tuberculosis vaccination
    Beer ( yeast added Iodized Salt and Tabasco Sauce )
    In one line
    Then in the other line
    Tuberculosis vaccination
    Zinc Iodine Salt SUGAR Sulfuric acid Bromanine
    Ducks Chickens Goose
    Vaccinations made from
    Zinc Iodine Salt SUGAR Sulfuric acid Bromanine
    Z I O N
    Medical Fraud
    Premeditated Murder against
    Legal offering Lethal
    AND as Oath Keepers
    Have Termites SARS DISEASE

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 13, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    “People who want it”. That is a denial of the reality of more covid ,more mutants happening now in Florida. 92% of cases in hospitals are those folks that bought the political bs paranoid lies about the vaccines. Duffus Desantis you perpetuated the lies! Duffus Desantis you are knowling and willingly kill people .

  • Tom

    July 13, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    You two are in need of help.

  • Tom Palmer

    July 13, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Nothing new to see here. DeSantis has always spun this issue. I agree, we should not call the governor names. His actions speak for themselves.

  • Tom

    July 13, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Yes numbered facts are a funny thing.
    Especially when they validate the fake Fauci narrative. I think the Governor held dozens off events encouraging adults and led the nation in seniors getting shots cause the science said they were vulnerable. The three of you are handicapped.

  • Phil Morton

    July 14, 2021 at 5:28 am

    Florida ranks 17th in vaccinating those over 65. Not sure that’s something to brag about.

  • Tom

    July 14, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Phil you join the list, Gov has strongly encouraged all Floridians to inoculate. He has led Florida seniors to take shots and has encouraged all to do so multiple times.
    Adults make decisions. My goodness, you tom a tons. People have to take responsibility.

    • Tom Palmer

      July 15, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      Not when Tucker Carlson and t he other charlatans tell them there’s nothing to worry about.

      • Tom

        July 16, 2021 at 8:49 am

        You fool, the Governor of Florida has strongly encouraged all Floridians to get the inoculation. Stop lying and misleading as you and the discredited fake news do on all things. You are all liars. Florida leads the country under America’s Governor DeSantis. He’s a leader of high order He saved seniors.. He studied the science unlike Grabby hands Cuomo & lockdowner Whitmer. You Dems are tom a tons, Soros Manchurians.

        • tjb

          July 17, 2021 at 10:26 am

          Tom, why is Desantis so anti-mask?

          • Tom

            July 17, 2021 at 1:30 pm

            The Governor has worn mask when and as appropriate. Unlike most he’s studied the science and has been inoculated so I believe it is not necessary to wear, my interpretation. I yield to him and staff. Regardless, this Dem and media Insistence based on elitism and arrogance that you must follow Fauci or others has proven to be wrong. This Governor, America’s Governor is a whiz kid who is demonstrating great leadership under duress. You must have huge Kahones to stand up to this liberal media hysteria. It is withering, DeSantis is that man. Un afraid as Florida and America fortunate to have him.
            God Bless him, wife Casey & children.

  • JoAnne

    July 16, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Uh oh. maybe everyone who is scared should move to a different State. (Just hoping) If you are vaccinated, you have nothing to worry about. If you are still scared even though you are supposedly protected, get therapy.

  • Tom

    July 17, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    CDR, health care cloud administered 2.5 million vaccines. Florida politics reported in past 48 hrs. How is that possible with this Gov. Turn key private sector program. Whiz kid Gov strikes again working with state and private officials.
    Liberal scream to follow.

  • neel

    July 26, 2021 at 3:01 am

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  • Tom

    July 27, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Scott & FP.
    The Governor, Ron DeSantis said several weeks ago that Florida would very likely have a resurgence in Covid with the the extensive hot summer heat and people in their AC homes. Of course its just dismissed by most media. It would help if you share this and report him accurately. Just saying. As you have so many cheap shot media and pols saying in accurate info.

Comments are closed.


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