COVID-19 and Florida’s lacking response
As the world tries to grasp with the changes and the toll that COVID-19 has had on millions, many countries are now being face the heavy burden their healthcare systems have to endure due to the growing pandemic. With countries such as Italy, Spain and France dealing with heavy losses in human lives and overworked and underfunded healthcare systems, it is unfortunate to see that the United States has had a poor response concerning the management of this crisis. And this is not only apparent on a federal level where President Trump has lacked leadership, but also on the state level where Florida faced to deal with around nine thousand infected and about one hundred and fifty deaths. With States such as New York and California taking major measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 such as implementing beach closures and declaring a state of emergency before numbers started to rise. But Governor Ron Desantis has lagged behind in the necessary response to control the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state of Florida by declaring a state of emergency thirty days after the first cases where being reported in the state in Hillsboro county. With a high retiree population and with a total population of around twenty-one million, is to be noted that the state of Florida is at high risk to be an outbreak center for not only the whole southeast but in the whole country.
The reason for which Florida has had an abysmal response in the midst to the pandemic can be traced to the poor response of Ron Desantis. Desantis has been taking recommendation from President Trump who has already been known to contradict the CDCs recommendation concerning the virus, and like Trump he has lacked in taking the CDCs recommendation to be implemented in the state in a stricter manner. On April 1st Governor Desantis declared a stay at home order limiting movement of all Floridians to only necessary and essential activities. But even with this more than due executive order, the essential activities that it allows violate the prescribed social distancing recommendations that it tries to implement. The governor’s executive order allows for mass congregations to occur in churches and synagogues and other places of worship. This blatantly goes against CDC recommendations concerning the risk the spread of COVID-19 in crowds.
Finally, there is an essential factor to take into consideration in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is the state of the State and US healthcare system. In the United States hospitals are built to be at capacity rather than to have spare or empty rooms, this reflects the reactive nature of US public policy. It is in these times with a virus that greatly affects the elderly and those with preexisting conditions such as diabetes that major heath reforms are needed to be done. The United States needs to start treating healthcare as a right and an issue of national security and wellbeing rather than a privilege. Major changes are hopefully to be expected after this pandemic but with the current political climate being one of misinformation and great division, it will possibly too late for such changes to have an impact once they arrive, but yet there is still a chance and opportunity for great strides to occur with in the healthcare and political system concerning the wellbeing of its citizens.
Director for the state of Florida