• July 29, 2021

Yes to freedom and no to living in a “Faucian dystopia” – HotAir

A top-notch applause line here, according to the merchandise for their “Don’t Fauci My Florida” campaign. DeSantis understands that Fauci has risen to the status of the pandemic’s main villain for right-handers and is eager to take advantage of that. (Interestingly, Fauci seems to have understood as well.) Positioning yourself as the anti-Fauci is an inexpensive way to defend against attacks from 2024 rivals like Kristi Noem, who want the label of “most anti-blockade candidate” for themselves.

See him addressing ALEC yesterday. The widely ridiculed new CDC guidance on masking was an irresistible step for him to show his anti-Fauci credentials.


I’m with him in almost all of that. No to the confinements? I agree, there is no way to morally justify the locks at this time. And there’s no reason to scientifically order them unless we get a new game-changing anti-vaccine variant.

Not at school closings? Correct again. That should have been the rule from last summer at the latest, after it became clear that kids didn’t suffer much from COVID, but they did suffer a lot from remote learning. Keeping Florida’s public schools open year-round is DeSantis’s greatest achievement as governor.

No to restrictions? It depends on the constraints I guess, but it’s hard to imagine one that makes sense right now. What’s the case for imposing capacity limits on businesses when unvaccinated customers can simply go out and get vaccinated to eliminate the risk of being in a crowded retail space?

No to mandates? I think mask commands are almost useless to encourage masking as most people will mask themselves anyway due to Delta variant anxiety.

But I would not dare to say no to all mandates.

In fact, I can think of one or two that would be quite morally justifiable in the interest of protecting people who cannot yet get vaccinated or protect those whose vaccines might not offer rigid immunity at this time.

Regardless, DeSantis is showing a bit of daring by publicly bragging about a “Faucian dystopia” at this particular point in the COVID nightmare, as he rules a state that is going through an especially bad time with a Delta outbreak in this moment.

Daily cases in Florida They are approaching the highest point of the entire pandemic. And it is not just a “casedemic.” Hospitalizations are also approaching winter highs:

The good news is that deaths are still well below the peak, averaging 51 a day now versus more than 170 during the winter, but that 51 is double what it was a few weeks ago. That could be a lagging indicator, with deaths set to rise further, but it is likely an artifact of mass vaccination slowing deaths. And DeSantis would say (and has said) that what Florida is experiencing right now is not some strange “delta variant” phenomenon, but the same kind of seasonal wave that it experienced last summer, when higher temperatures drove people inside. As you can see from the hospitalizations chart above, there were many more people in the ER last July than there are now. That’s also a testament to vaccines (and more natural immunity in the population, of course).

But with cases and hospitalizations on the rise, and possible deaths to follow, DeSantis faces a choice. Local officials in Florida are rush to impose restrictions designed to limit transmission; You can step aside and complain without doing anything or you can step in to override those restrictions and risk being blamed for any deterioration in the local COVID situation, whether or not the restrictions you lifted could have realistically prevented it.

Local Florida officials oppose Gov. Ron DeSantis and his mandated coronavirus strategy as infections rise in the state and nation. They are imposing vaccine and mask requirements for government workers and even declaring states of emergency. In a sign of how worrisome the new Covid-19 surge is, Disney World is directing all guests over the age of 2 to wear masks inside its Florida theme park, regardless of vaccination status.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, husband of Democratic US Senate candidate and Representative Val Demings, has declared a state of emergency and is demanding that the county’s 4,200 non-union workers be vaccinated by the end of September. Leon County announced that it is also imposing a vaccination requirement for county workers. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava demanded masks at all county facilities. And in Broward County, school board officials are upholding mask mandates for students into the upcoming school year despite vocal opposition from DeSantis …

The cascade of new local Covid-19 regulations comes months after lawmakers passed a law championed by DeSantis that now allows the governor or GOP-dominated legislature to override local orders, including those linked to the pandemic, if they decide that the order “unnecessarily restricts a constitutional right, fundamental freedom or statutory right.”

If DeSantis hands over the mandates to local officials, opportunistic rivals like Noem will claim that he is fine living in a “Faucian dystopia” after all. If you intervene, you will be in danger from what happens to subsequent cases and deaths. What is your next move?

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