As the summer season has ended, and the hot temperatures start to subside across Southern states, encouraging more people to be outside rather than inside together in the air-conditioning, the rate of COVID-19 infections in Florida has plunged so rapidly that it has the third-fasted descent in rates of cases in the nation over the last two weeks, trailing only Alabama and Hawaii.
According to The New York Times chart on Thursday, Florida’s case rate per 100,000 people over the last week was 13, third only behind Connecticut and Hawaii, which both have a rate of 11 cases per 100,000.
Florida’s 14-day change rate plunged 48%, while Alabama’s fell 61% and Hawaii’s fell 51%. Notably, states farther north were found at the other end of the spectrum, including Colorado, where the rate rose 32%, Vermont, 27%, Michigan, 26%, and Minnesota, 22%.
On October 1, Click Orlando noted, “As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop in Florida, the state on Friday reported an average of 5,396 new cases per day over the last week. This is the fifth straight week the number of weekly COVID-19 cases has declined.
The same day, The Associated Press noted in a piece titled, “U.S. COVID cases falling, but hospitals brace for winter wave”: “Health experts fear the next wave in Northern states as cold weather approaches. … many Northern states are still struggling with rising cases, and what’s ahead for winter is far less clear.”
In July, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis pointed out, “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. And that’s not just unique to Florida.”
Speaking in Jacksonville, Florida, in August, DeSantis added, “What we’re going to see is that — you’re already starting to see — but because you don’t have the herd immunity through the vaccinations, you’re going to start to see winter and fall waves in the Northern states. We have a summer season, but you’re going to see that, and so I think that that’s something that should be stressed more and more.”
In late September, DeSantis announced that he had secured more doses of lifesaving antibody treatment for Floridians. His actions came “despite the Biden administration taking control of the treatment and effectively reducing Florida’s necessary supply,” The Daily Wire noted, adding, “The governor posted a video Thursday announcing the move, captioned, ‘Governor DeSantis announces acquisition of additional doses of monoclonal antibody treatments to counteract the federal government reducing Florida’s supply of the Regeneron monoclonal treatments.’”
The Biden administration was accused of partisan payback by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who said, “Antibody treatments aren’t a substitute for vaccines. But they have prevented thousands of hospitalizations including in breakthrough cases. Now in a move that reeks of partisan payback against states like Florida, the Biden administration is rationing these treatments.”