After media maelstrom, Florida COVID rates now lowest per capita nationally

Florida has the lowest COVID rates in the nation, despite Gov. DeSantis facing criticism for his handling of the pandemic.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
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Florida currently has the lowest per capita COVID case rates in the nation despite Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) coming under intense scrutiny over his handling of the virus. On Friday, Mayo Clinic reported that Florida is seeing 6.7 cases per 100,000 people. 

The United States case rate is four times higher than Florida overall, at 28.4 per 100,000.

Florida also stands in stark contrast to states with stringent mask and vaccine mandates. For example, Michigan had some of the most intense COVID measures in the nation instituted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), but it has a case rate of 89.4. Minnesota also has had strict measures in place, and still faces a rate of 64.2.

Vaccination rates may be correlated with COVID case rates as well as lockdown measures. According to Johns Hopkins, more than 62 percent of Floridians are vaccinated, while less than 55 percent of Michiganders are. Minnesota has a similar vaccination rate to Florida, with more than 63 percent of residents vaccinated. In the southwest, Arizona has a case rate of 52.7, with 56 percent of the population vaccinated

Just the News reported last month how Florida flipped from being the worst state for COVID rates and hospitalizations in July and August to having the lowest rates in the nation in October.

DeSantis attributed the state’s rates to the creation of monoclonal antibody treatment centers, an aggressive vaccine push, increased herd immunity and a "data-driven approach" without mandates. 

Cristina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, told Fox News Digital Friday that DeSantis "opened the 25 state-supported monoclonal antibody sites and provided that treatment all over the state free of charge to over 150,000 Floridians, saved thousands of lives... Since then our cases are down by over 95% with no restrictions on people's freedom."

She hopes that states like Michigan and Minnesota will "learn from Florida's experience" and promote treatments over lockdowns.

Last week Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced he is working to expand "access to monoclonal antibodies COVID-19 treatments."

Michigan issued a "face mask advisory" earlier this month, recommending that "everyone over the age of 2 should wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status."