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Studies reveal the COVID figures

Please, God! Save me from our governor and his obsession with COVID-19 vaccines and federal policies.

I read that DeSantis is asking the Supreme Court of Florida to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate wrongdoings in Florida regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. My guess is the grand jury is less about the COVID-19 vaccine than DeSantis trying to out-Trump Trump.

DeSantis has made much of the "fact" that free Florida has fared much better than some northern states. But is he correct, or just politicking?

He touts that Florida was open and "free," leading to the state's low COVID death rate. However, Dr. David Cutler (Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica) told Healthline that the way Florida counted positive cases skewed our numbers. For example, Florida only counted full-time residents. So, you weren't counted if you were a snowbird from Ohio and died in Florida from COVID. Culter doesn't trust our numbers are at all accurate.

A study by the Commonwealth Fund found that COVID-19 vaccines have kept more than 18.5 million people in the U.S. out of the hospital and saved more than 3.2 million lives. Another study said the nation would have had 1.5 times more infections, 3.8 times more hospitalizations, and 4.1 times more deaths without vaccines. But DeSantis doesn't like vaccines.

He has blocked local communities and schools from mandating face masks and opposed attempts by private businesses to require vaccination as a condition of providing services. He's also insisted the state wouldn't implement a lockdown to combat the Delta variant.

DeSantis might consider having his grand jury investigate his administration's responses to COVID. Could lives have been saved if he had followed federal guidelines?

Another area they might study is the impact his policies had on Republicans. According to a recent study (the National Bureau of Economic Research), COVID deaths are unevenly distributed among Republicans and Democrats. Average death rates in Florida and Ohio were 76% higher among Republicans than Democrats, according to a working paper released last month.

Another study published in Health Affairs similarly found that, nationwide, counties with a Republican majority had a greater share of COVID deaths through October 2021 than majority-Democratic counties.

If you believe your Republican leaders, you didn't get a vaccine, didn't wear masks, join large groups, and got COVID in higher numbers and died.

Thomas Mitchell


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