It’s hard, if not impossible, to think of any governor who’s been more heavily criticized over the past couple years than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Media outlets across the country — national and local — have seemingly made it their goal to bring DeSantis down. His pandemic policies have become a flash point in the debate over how best to handle COVID, with terrified media members endlessly hammering what they considered to be a “lax” response.
Their desire to discredit his COVID response was so feverish that many major news organizations like CNN and MSNBC repeatedly gave a platform to fired dashboard manager Rebekah Jones to spread easily disproven lies about Florida’s data.
“#Deathsantis” repeatedly trended on Twitter, promoted by those desperate to believe that masks worked and their ideological allies hadn’t lied to them.
By correctly understanding early on in the pandemic that mitigation measures were completely ineffective, DeSantis set himself up to become an easy target for media criticism. Most other politicians across the country did the opposite, quickly realizing that they’d never receive negative coverage for doing too much, but would be destroyed by the press for not doing enough.
Except, of course, when looking at the results in Florida, DeSantis’ strategy was an unqualified success. After adjusting for age, the state’s COVID mortality numbers are better than the U.S. average and significantly better than states like New York and New Jersey, which used incessant mask mandates, lockdown restrictions, and closures:
But beyond the results of the COVID policies, new data from the IRS vindicates DeSantis even further.
In 2020, huge amounts of people left lockdown states like California and New York … and they took their money to Florida.
Florida gained nearly $25 billion in adjusted gross income, while New York and California lost roughly $37 billion combined.
Of course, it’s not just those two states. Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, where schools and businesses were kept closed or severely restricted throughout the year, all lost significant amounts of wealth.
This is a complete repudiation of the obsessive devotion to COVID restrictions, which proved to be completely unsuccessful at controlling the spread of the virus while alienating huge numbers of people who wanted their kids in school and as much normalcy as possible.
Florida’s commitment to freedom did not lead to worse results in the most important COVID outcomes, but it did generate a massive influx of wealth, new residents and tourism.
Supposed “experts” like Dr. Fauci endlessly advocate for harsher policies, specifically criticizing Florida’s “risky” reopening, while never accepting the possible negative harms of their authoritarian demands.
Well, the results are in on Florida’s “risky” decisions, and they’ve proven Ron DeSantis right again.