Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday’s Ingraham Angle warned against what he called media “misinformation” about the fight against COVID-19, using a roundtable with hospital CEOs from earlier in the day to blame the media for getting details wrong again.
This time around, DeSantis said the media had a narrative that was wrong on both hospital capacity and the risk posed to children by COVID-19. And that narrative could prove harmful to public health.
“It’s important, when media’s spreading this misinformation and actually lying, it could deter someone from going in to get care for things like heart problems and strokes,” DeSantis said.
“I understand the media’s got narratives they’re trying to spin. I understand they’ve got a partisan agenda. But just be careful when you’re spreading that misinformation that people somehow think that they shouldn’t go in,” DeSantis said, saying the CEOs on the roundtable urged people to come into the hospitals.
“They’re running and they’re running well,” DeSantis said, on a day when the Florida Hospital Association reported yet another record high in COVID-19 hospitalizations at 12,408.
“We have had a summer wave. We have seen significant increases in COVID patients. But as the CEO of Tampa General Hospital (John Couris) said, that’s 10 to 15% of their total census,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also slammed the media again for raising concerns over potential impacts of schooling on the youth amid the delta variant surge.
“Well, they did this last summer when we went to in person schooling,” DeSantis said. “Oh man. They were saying all kinds of stuff. And we had a very successful school year.”
DeSantis also staked out his position on masks, yet again, saying he wouldn’t ban them, though personally he is not a fan.
“If certain parents feel they want their kids doing that, we’re not going to prevent it,” the Governor said.
Though DeSantis was able to frame the roundtable as he chose on the Ingraham Angle, even CEOs whose quotes could be curated advised caution.
“There’s no question, Governor, that our ERs are full, and we are busy. We have the most COVID patients that we’ve ever had through the pandemic,” Couris said.
The Governor also cast doubt on vaccines.
DeSantis noted “we have seen a lot of fully vaccinated people test positive,” an assertion which led to gentle pushback from one empaneled doctor.
After DeSantis’ claim, Orlando Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. George Ralls said those numbers are actually low.
“Despite the information that’s coming out about people that are fully vaccinated still getting COVID, those numbers are low, number one. And, they are absolutely still in a better situation than they would have been had they gotten COVID without the vaccine,” Ralls said.
Florida Politics’ Capitol Reporter Haley Brown contributed reporting.