Florida is breaking pandemic records. Where is Gov. Ron DeSantis?

Florida has been breaking coronavirus pandemic records since the highly-contagious omicron variant arrived. Where is Gov. Ron DeSantis?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida has been reporting a record-breaking increase in coronavirus cases. The highly-contagious omicron variant is affecting some of the state’s most important industries including airlines and cruise lines.

Despite the situation, Gov. Ron DeSantis decided to go on vacation.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department reported Florida hospitals were treating about 4,000 COVID-19 patients on Thursday and 3,400 on Wednesday. The Florida Hospital Association reported hospitals were dealing with staff shortages.

There were more than 58,000 new cases on Wednesday in Florida and the state’s seven-day average increased to 36,400 new cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DeSantis’ priority has been to protect the public’s choice on whether or not to follow public health measures.

Before going on vacation, DeSantis signed legislation that made it difficult for Miami-Dade County Public Schools to adjust safety measures to the higher positivity rate. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Thursday adults will be required to wear face masks when schools reopen after the break.

On Dec. 17, DeSantis and state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo held a news conference in Ocala to promote monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-29.

“We are not going to indulge in any of the insanity that you are starting to see again in other parts of the country,” he said.

In October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as First Lady,” DeSantis wrote in a statement. “As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will have not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family.”

The couple has three children, one-year-old Mamie, 3-year-old Mason, and 4-year-old Madison. DeSantis is running for reelection in November.

About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.