Miami Herald op-ed suggests Florida omicron outbreak occurred because Gov. DeSantis acted 'selfishly'

DeSantis wants Florida focused on its own citizens

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis explains why he prioritizes citizens over immigrants on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

A Christmas Eve Miami Herald op-ed torched Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, suggesting the omicron variant outbreak of COVID-19 occurred due to his own selfish actions.

“Last lesson of 2021, Florida: Omicron happens when we act selfishly, like Gov. DeSantis,” the piece from Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago read. 

Santiago suggested that surging infection rates are all due to Floridians “giddily taking risks.” Now, the state is seeing a resurgence of hours-long COVID-19 testing lines and an increase in deaths, according to a Miami Herald analysis.

Santiago specifically pointed fingers at the state’s leader, faulting DeSantis for failing to guide Florida with “sensible policies” or appropriate verbal direction for people who “most need to hear an endorsement of science over quackery from him – the politically reticent to the vaccine.”

According to Santiago, the governor is “busy peddling treatment over prevention” and continues to spread lies about Dr. Anthony Fauci, who she tags as the nation’s top authority on infectious diseases. But DeSantis’s beef with Fauci, she argued, is all a political distraction from his own agenda.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and his wife Casey leave flags at a makeshift memorial near the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of victims remain missing more than a week after it partially collapsed, Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. 
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“The governor [is]… governing with such authoritarianism that he comes perilously close to Fascism with every move,” she wrote. “So many of us wish he would put politics aside, at least for the coronavirus.”

But even highly-transmissible omicron hasn’t impacted how “vaccine-stagnant, mask-rejecting” Floridians have approached the pandemic – Santiago describing this behavior as “contagious as the virus.”

“We should all be used to this by now, but who’s going to listen to common sense when the state’s top leader isn’t engaged in prevention — more than 62,300 coronavirus deaths later?” she asked. “Most probably, only the same science-driven crowd that has vaccinated and boosted up.”

Santiago mentioned how DeSantis refuses to tell the media whether he’s received a booster shot since former President Trump was publicly scolded by fellow Republicans for admitting he’s been boosted. 

FLORIDA, USA – AUGUST 24: A woman receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine during a vaccination event, in Key Biscayne, Florida, United States on August 24, 2021. (Photo by Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the columnist disregarded the scientific success of mild omicron symptoms to call out those Americans who favored their “freedom of choice” in remaining unvaccinated.

“Omicron is what happens when we act selfishly and reject that we’re interconnected with the rest of the world in our common humanity,” she said. “The me, me, me attitude only heightens our vulnerability to disease.”

In her conclusion, Santiago positioned omicron as the final lesson of 2021, encouraging Americans to “heed it, and wear the holiday smile behind the mask.”

“And don’t forget to celebrate,” she said. “If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re still here.”

The media has often taken aim at DeSantis throughout the coronavirus pandemic for refusing to enforce draconian lockdowns like some of his more liberal counterparts, telling Floridians that he would keep the state open for business.

“At the end of the day in Florida, Floridians know we will not let anybody lock them down. We will not let anyone take their jobs,” DeSantis said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” last week. “We will not let anyone ruin their businesses, and we will not let anyone close their schools, so people are going to be able to live life. They’re going to be able to make their own decisions.”

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