Despite harsh criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus by Democrats, including President Joe Biden, Florida reported the lowest new COVID-19 case rate in the nation this week.
According to The New York Times, Florida reported a daily average Friday of 1,393 new cases, a rate of six cases per 100,000 people, which is a 5% decrease over the last 14-day period.
Michigan has the highest rate in the nation at 85 cases per 100,000 people, logging a daily case average of 8,457, which is almost 60% higher over the 14-day period.
"It just shows once again the success of Governor DeSantis’s science based and data-based policies," DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News about the case levels in Florida. "He’s always made decisions based on the data and that continued even during the delta surge this summer. What he realized would help was not mask mandates in school or lockdowns but provide treatment that actually works."
During the 14-day period, the Sunshine State saw a 12% drop in the number of COVID hospitalizations, and a death rate of 0.20 per 100,000, according to the data obtained by the Times.
Nationally, the Times reports that the new case rate is 26 per 100,000, a 10% increase in the last 14-day period, and a national death rate of 0.31 per 100,000.
Florida also is above the national average of 59% being fully vaccinated, with 61% of the population in Florida having received their shots.
DeSantis has been in a de facto war of words with the Biden administration due to his efforts to keep the state open for business, as well as opposing vaccine and mask mandates, especially for school age children.
He signed legislation Nov. 18 prohibiting private employers in the state from mandating vaccines and allowing them instead to provide religious and health exemptions, or periodic testing as options to getting the shots.
The move comes as the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 workers remains stalled in the courts.
Employers that violate the law are subject to fines of $10,000 per employee for companies with up to 99 employees, and $50,000 per employee for larger businesses, according to the state.
In addition, the law prohibits school districts from requiring vaccines for students, or implementing mask policies, and gives parents the right to sue districts that violate the law.
"I told Floridians that we would protect their jobs and today we made that the law," DeSantis said in a press release announcing the new law. "Nobody should lose their job due to heavy-handed COVID mandates and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida. I’m thankful to the Florida Legislature for joining me in standing up for freedom."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.