Gov. DeSantis: Rising COVID-19 deaths in Florida ‘a really terrible thing’

Ron DeSantis in Viera
But he expressed no direct sympathy or remorse.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that the rising COVID-19 death toll in Florida is “a really terrible thing,” but he focused on preventing future deaths rather than talking about the thousands of Floridians who have died recently.

DeSantis was in Viera to continue his tour promoting monoclonal antibody treatment as a way to greatly temper COVID-19 infections and reduce the risk of death.

He was asked if he had words to share with Florida families affected by recent COVID-19 deaths, as Florida has suffered a significant increase in recent weeks.

DeSantis said it was “a really sad thing.” But he expressed no sympathy or condolences toward families, nor any remorse regarding the skyrocketing numbers of people dying of COVID-19 in Florida recently. He skirted the subject briefly then moved on to talk about the treatment he has been promoting as an alternative to death.

Last week, more than 1,800 new Florida deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported, a record week for the state. The week before, more than 1,500 deaths were reported. When final reports come in, August likely will be the worst month to date for reported COVID-19 fatalities in Florida, for the entire 18-month long pandemic. Florida’s numbers of deaths far exceed what has been seen recently in any other state.

“I think it’s been a rough time. I think there are people who have been affected all across this state. I think it’s been a really terrible thing,” DeSantis said.

But he pivoted to what his administration is doing. For the past three weeks, DeSantis has been barnstorming the state opening free monoclonal antibody treatment clinics and promoting their use as a treatment that can greatly reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

“I think what we’re trying to do is say, ‘OK, what was not being done? Where was the gap?’ And the biggest gap was in the early treatment. So I am confident there are people being availed of this who will have better outcomes as a result of that,” DeSantis said.

His response to a question on families dealing with COVID-19 deaths was in sharp contrast to comments Wednesday from one of his sharpest critics, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who’s running for the Democratic nomination to take on DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Fried on Wednesday oversaw a moment of silence for the 45,000 total people in Florida who now have died of COVID-19, noting they include children, daughters, husbands, teachers, health care workers, and more who have died.

“We keep talking about these numbers that I report every single day, and there just needs to be a time when we sit back, and we recognize how many of our fellow Floridians we have lost to this war,” Fried told reporters.

In Viera, DeSantis pointed out four guests, people who had gotten COVID-19, received the monoclonal treatment, and recovered in a day or two.

“I think it’s a really sad thing, when you think,” he said of the deaths. “Now we have people standing here with us who may not have been here were it not for this treatment.”

He said those dying tend to be unvaccinated and have not received the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“You look beyond, and you see the tools we have and the statistics. You see people admitted to hospitals, and you see the mortality,” he said. “Those tend to be folks who were not vaccinated prior to being infected. And they also were folks who, by and large, did not get the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“That’s ultimately what it’s all about, you know, it’s about saving lives.”

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].


  • ScienceBLVR

    September 1, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Not surprising at all that Desantis does not take any responsibility for the COVID deaths in Florida, though some of the blame lies squarely with his cavalier attitude towards masks and vaccinations. I remember at the beginning of the pandemic seeing him at rallies supporting Trump, mask less, kibitzing with the crowds. His mantra has always been people have the right to get sick and infect others because it’s all about personal freedom, right? Can’t even support school boards trying to save lives.. and now its going to cost Florida taxpayers to appeal his death inducing anti- mask policies. No wonder his approval ratings are going down in the polls

    • Andrew Finn

      September 3, 2021 at 9:13 am

      You got that right !!!!!! Emperor DeSantis calls the huge death totals “a really terrible thing” here in Florida. A really terrible thing – that’s all the jackass has to say and then move on ?? I wish we could just move on since he is “a really terrible governor” !!!!!!!!!!

  • Alex

    September 1, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    In the meantime he’s defunding schools for protecting childrens health and lives.

    He’s Trump Stupidity part 2

  • Deb Dunn

    September 1, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Our Governor is heavily invested in this drug and yes he will promote it. It’s a good idea if it does what he said but you have to catch it early. That means getting tested every other day. Humm are the hospital using it for early infection? I didn’t hear him say anything about that, and is it approved by FDA or still is it in the experimental level? From his track record I wouldn’t trust the drug. The shot was so easy and fast. Yes, I have the Small Pox scar,

    • Jerry

      September 1, 2021 at 10:11 pm

      Smallpox has a mortality rate of 30%. COVID is 1%.
      Smallpox vaccine also STOPS THE SPREAD. The COVID vaccine does not.
      Stop comparing smallpox and COVID. They have absolutely NOTHING in common.

      And no, the vaccine is not easy and fast for everyone. I know several people who had bad side effects. A neighbor of mine ended up in the hospital because of the vaccine.

      • Alex

        September 1, 2021 at 10:50 pm

        Dumb as a box of rocks.


        • Impeach Biden

          September 2, 2021 at 8:35 am

          How about posting your resume so the audience can compare yours vs. Governor DeSantis. Maybe at the end it is you that is dumb as rocks..

          • zhombre

            September 2, 2021 at 9:24 am

            Don’t even bother with this fucking troll.

          • Lynn Kittelson

            September 2, 2021 at 12:33 pm

            I take it you don’t want to discuss the problem just push your idiot Trump. You must like dictators who doesn’t care how many people die as long as they make money. By the way Trump lost partly because of his handling the virus. The President of the United States is President Biden the winner
            Trump lost like the loser he is. I suppose your taking horse medicine

          • b. joel

            September 3, 2021 at 11:49 am

            DeSantis’s resume certainly includes nothing about epidemiology, that is for sure. He is as dumb and as stubborn as a box of rocks when it comes to knowing that masks work, it is a proven fact. Look it up — anywhere besides on the conservative false info sites.

      • Judieth Jackson

        September 2, 2021 at 10:52 pm

        “I was dismayed to read of the inaccurate portrayal of the global smallpox epidemic by Issaquah School District’s Chief Financial Officer, Jake Kuper. He believes that smallpox ceased to be a problem by simply letting it “run its course,” and that we should do the same with COVID-19.

        It’s disturbing and ironic that an official of an educational system would not bother to educate himself on the very topic about which he is spouting off. The first hit on a Google search about smallpox being “eradicated or endemic” reveals detailed histories of how, through the discovered practice of “variolation” (intentionally causing a mild smallpox infection in a person with scabs or pus) led to the discovery of vaccination through the work of British surgeon Edward Jenner in the late 1800s. He infected people with the milder cowpox virus, which created cross immunity to smallpox.

        Vaccination is still our best means of containing COVID, along with masking, distancing and general prudence. The word “freedom” rings hollow to the families of the more than 636,000 Americans who have died of COVID. Categorizing vaccinations and masks as simple “personal choice” matters is incredibly self-centered and self defeating for our entire country.”

        Mark H. Backlund, M.D., Anacortes

      • b. joel

        September 3, 2021 at 11:41 am

        All false. The vaccine does stop the spread, and the getting the disease is at least a thousand times more dangerous than the shot.

        • b. joel

          September 3, 2021 at 11:44 am

          Stop completely, no, but substantially slow it down — this is proven and seen all cross the world. the covid vaccines work, and save countless lives. You are so full of false info, you are down a real rabbit hole. Take a step back, and screw your head on straight.

  • TJC

    September 1, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    DeSantis invested early and heavily in the political gain to be had from being a populist demagogue spewing half-truths and pure nonsense about an epidemic that is killing people in Florida. He won’t stop now, he has too much to lose if he backs off. Like his mentor, Donald, it’s all about him now, the people be damned, even if they love him.

  • Shamene

    September 1, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    He’s one sorry ass poor excuse for a governor.

  • Tom

    September 1, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    All of you are pathetic demagogues.
    Who in the hell do the 4 of u think you are?
    What do you know? As if anyone can stop Covid. How did the blue states do? Cuomo literally sent seniors to the center after they recovered from Covid and they died. 12,000 of them, dead! Contrast with this great Governor who protected seniors.

    None of you know what you speak.
    This Governor brought balance, not blue state lock down extremism. Which is what you wAnt from your two corrupt tyrant candidates. Fraud and crispy critters.

    You all are a bunch of blow hards! No nothing partisan hacks! This Gov protected all, even you. How about all the economic despair the lockdowns caused. Teen suicides, loss of jobs. You extremists are fanatical. Dems can’t protect us abroad, can’t
    Protect our cities from crime and can’t protect our southern border! You gave us this incompetent in the WH and the pathetic Harris.
    Greatest surrender in history! Are you serious.
    Please save it!

    • Alex

      September 1, 2021 at 9:13 pm


      Still waiting for you to explain how the governments covid response took your right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, as you claimed.


      • Tom

        September 1, 2021 at 9:43 pm

        You are mentally unstable.
        First of all you reside in a non lockdown state overall.
        I’ve said previously that the blue states were forced to lose freedoms by tyrannical Govs. If you don’t acknowledge that, no use to discuss. Blue state Dem Govs tied businesses and people lives upside down. Are you oblivious?

        You live In a open free state and you have the nerve to suggest otherwise, as if you know. DeSantis is the reason why you enjoy all your freedoms, period! Michigan’s Gov wouldn’t allow you to boat or garden. California closed beaches. Where have you been hiding, under a rock?

        The fourth amendment is under siege as is the second amendment. Fact.
        Eviction moratorium is a total breakdown of property rights.

        You need help Alex. You are just unhinged.

        • Alex

          September 1, 2021 at 10:10 pm

          Still waiting for that simple explanation.

          Or can you?

        • Alex

          September 1, 2021 at 11:05 pm

          You can’t answer because it never happened, and you have no idea what you’re talking about.

          So you run away in shame

          (chicken clucking sounds)

        • n

          September 3, 2021 at 1:03 am

          Do you live in FL? Because I was in my house for 4 months last year. We were locked down. Maybe that’s when you were on vacation. Or at Rons house for a cocktail
          PLEASE the QAnon talking points are getting very tiring

    • Lisa M

      September 2, 2021 at 9:56 am

      How do you stop it!? Are you joking!? Get a damn vaccine. Same way we eradicated measles, mumps and smallpox. It’s not going away by itself. Stop being so damn selfish.

    • Judieth Jackson

      September 2, 2021 at 11:10 pm

      Who the hell do you think you are? FLORIDA is a cesspool of a covid clusterf**k thanks to DeSatan. He has done ZERO to mitigate the death and despair of covid – he’s no better than a mass murderer. Fl has the highest death rate from Covid in the country- worse now than 18 months ago. The gov. is a hack- he won’t be reelected and certainly will never see the inside of the Oval office. He’s done- his ratings are plummeting in his own state…

  • Jen

    September 1, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    “I don’t want the vaccine, it’s experimental!”
    “I want the genetically engineered monoclonal antibodies that are experimental!”
    Such stupid brainwashed people.

    • Sharon

      September 2, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Hell no!

  • Chaz Stevens

    September 1, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    Imagine if you were hiring for the Sbarro’s pizza joint manager at the local mall.

    Would you let Ron run the place?

    • Tom

      September 1, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      And you cannot tie your own shoes.
      Go fly a kite you fool.

      • ScienceBLVR

        September 2, 2021 at 6:35 am

        Mr. Koperski, my debate teacher, always said you know you have won the debate when your opponent resorts to name calling rather than substantive discourse. Koperski says, “Sorry, Tom, you lost this round for sure”.

        • Tom

          September 2, 2021 at 5:38 pm

          Sounds like a fool as you non science believer.
          My outline was very specific.
          Florida’s unemployment was reported 5.1 today. 64,000 new jobs.
          All you Dumcrats need a life.

        • Tom

          September 2, 2021 at 5:56 pm

          Come, come science blow off.
          Your liberal cocoon being popped like moron Alex’s.
          I’ve crushed you Manchurians.
          Read above instead of bloviating.
          You like the rest of Manchurian Dem nation can’t run with me.
          Go play with your phosphorous.
          Call cuomo for some fondling.

    • Impeach Biden

      September 2, 2021 at 8:04 am

      Yes I would.

      • Impeach Biden

        September 2, 2021 at 8:08 am

        I absolutely would.

  • Alex

    September 1, 2021 at 10:14 pm



    • Tom

      September 2, 2021 at 6:40 am

      Alex, 15-0 me.
      You have nothing to offer, zero.

    • Tom

      September 2, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      You are an idiot!
      You are in real common with Biden.
      40% approval. 52% resign. Going well for U. How’s Your Newsom doing you fool. I’ve crushed you. Get a life you mentally ill Dummycrat.

  • Daniel

    September 2, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Pay Attention :….next elections in Fla. DON’T VOTERS GOV. DeSantis PERIOD ! ! ! !

    • Tom

      September 2, 2021 at 5:41 pm

      DeSantis wins by 10 pts.
      No contest. Enjoy

    • Andrew Finn

      September 3, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      You got that right !!!!!! I have been a Republican voter since I started voting decades ago on local, state, and federal levels. Next year I will break ranks and vote for anybody (and I mean ANYBODY) they pick to run against Emperor DeSantis !!!!!!

  • Terry Murphy

    September 2, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Glad to see Governor DeSantis acknowledge how sad it is to lose so many fellow Floridians to this disease. If only he would call for all Floridians to work together to defeat this virus. We all want to keep schools in session and businesses open. The Governor needs to lead us out of this. Come on, Governor, use the bully pulpit. Give us your best advice advice on how we can stop COVID-19 from spreading.

  • Anna Clayton

    September 2, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    We are fighting three different pandemics. One against greed and power (Desantis.) One against stupidity. And one against the virus.

    • Anna Clayton

      September 2, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      Also you will definitely loose your “freedoms” if you are dead. This makes no sense when people say that. Do they think they are so invincible they can’t die from this? And when people say kids can’t breathe with a mask on? They definitely can’t breath with a ventilator jammed down their throats or from the grave.

      • Tom

        September 2, 2021 at 5:45 pm

        Nobody has said that.
        Freedoms excluding Florida cause of America’s Governor are assured even for you Dummycrats.
        Not like lockdown blue Dem tyrants.
        Oh let me get this straight, Anna & Terry want the fondler cuomo to be Gov. Please, DeSantis the best!

        • Terry Murphy

          September 2, 2021 at 6:11 pm

          My comment was to encourage the Governor of Florida (no mention of NY) to keep schools and businesses open by stopping the spread of the virus. Hopefully, DeSantis will lay out a plan of action for all Floridians to follow so that we might be able to end this pandemic. As long as the virus has willing, unprotected hosts, COVID will remain among us.

  • Stan Chrzanowski

    September 2, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    The governor claims posting deaths by date of occurrence is accurate, but it’s only accurate if the occurrence is posted by date of death ON the date of death. The way Florida does it after the fact makes it look like the curve has peaked and is going down – see Graph 12 on the attached website and you’ll see what I mean:

  • lux

    September 2, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Work for 2-3 hours 1n your spare OO time and get paid $1200 0n y0ur bank acc0unt every week..t

    Get more information 0n f0ll0wing site…..

  • Jude Richvale

    September 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    DeSatan – Making you sicker quicker!

Comments are closed.


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