America is experiencing a dearth of adults in positions of leadership. In the place of serious-minded grown ups who know a lot, constantly seek to know more, and place the needs of their constituents ahead of their own electoral and financial needs, we have infantile frat boys like Ron DeSantis running a state like Florida.
At the moment, Florida accounts for 20% of all new COVID-19 infections in the country. Positivity rates have doubled over the last week. More than 3,200 COVID patients are currently hospitalized in the state, a jump of 73% in the past month. Meanwhile, the number of vaccinations administered weekly has fallen by almost 80% statewide even though less than 60% of the population 12 and older is fully vaccinated.
Florida now has the fourth-highest per-capita hospitalization rate in the country, only behind Nevada, Missouri and Arkansas.
While all this is happening, Governor Ron DeSantis is selling merchandise on his website attacking director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president Anthony Fauci.
“Don’t Fauci My Florida” read drink koozies and T-shirts on his website, a slogan which is not only scientifically stupid but not clever or funny in any way.
“Don’t Fauci my Florida?”
Because both words start with the same letter, someone thought it would sound amusing?
DeSantis also has a beer koozie that asks how one might drink a beer while wearing a mask, because DeSantis is a man of the people.
Also a graduate of both Yale and Harvard, but when you’re a Republican these days, those credentials will hurt you more than they’ll help. Better to imply that you’re just a regular guy, drinking beer and ignoring all the death in your state rather than appeal to scientists, doctors, and public policy experts for advice and counsel.
He’s also so thin-skinned and needy that he’s offering a “Love my Gov” tee shirt.
Can you imagine how desperate a person must be to sell shirts proclaiming love for yourself?
While infection rates rise and Floridians die in greater numbers, DeSantis has also spent time passing laws that are just as stupid as his beer koozies.
In June 2021, DeSantis led an effort to ban the teaching of critical race theory in Florida public schools, even though it has never been part of the curriculum.
In February 2021, DeSantis threatened to withhold COVID-19 vaccines from counties that criticized the manner in which vaccines were distributed, because criticism of any kind is apparently too much for this Floridian snowflake to handle.
In May 2021, DeSantis signed a bill into law that prohibited businesses, schools, and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination for use of services.
In the past two weeks, I attended a Springsteen performance on Broadway and a Moth StorySLAM in Brooklyn that both required proof of vaccination to enter. Made sense. Keep everyone safe and mitigate the possibility of spreading the disease in congregant spaces by ensuring that everyone in attendance is vaccinated.
That sensible, reasonable policy is forbidden in Florida. Business owners are not allowed to operate their establishments in a way they deem safe to their employees and customers because DeSantis doesn’t want to Fauci Florida.
In the words of a fictional US President, “We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”
Selling merchandise labeled in opposition to science as infection rates spike in your state and people die is not the work of a grown-ass adult.