Senator Marco Rubio is either engaged in high-level trolling of us all or he’s really losing his marbles. This Monday morning tweet about the COVID situation followed several days where Rubio impulsively tweeted highly-charged politicized tweets that were quickly exposed as factually inaccurate.
Rubio tweets come at a time where Governor Ron DeSantis’ and his handlers like Christina Pushaw are involved in a high-stakes game of covid denial and Florida has become the epicenter of the virus not only in the US but in any first-world country where vaccines are widely available.
Florida this weekend recorded a record number of new COVID-19 cases as well as a record number of hospitalizations. The state’s largest health systems are being overrun with Covid patients and industry sources tell me, preparations are underway for this “wave,”( a record for any US state outside NY/NJ/CT initial March/April 2020 numbers) to last 4-6 weeks. While COVID numbers have spiked in the state, the Governor has been barnstorming the nation speaking about immigration (A Fox News fantasy about President Biden opening borders for criminals) and attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, while touting how he’s kept Florida “open and free.” The Governor has to my knowledge yet to visit an ICU COVID ward or any hospital in a meaningful way during this spike.
Fifty years of GOP culture around being “tough,” combined with the Trumpist world view of zero accountability and the Reaganite principle of non-compassionate public discourse has reared its ugly head of late, particularly in Florida. The brand of Republicanism practiced by many Florida officials in the past, to govern competently while hitting on push-button social issues to placate the base has now given way to an all-out assault on truth, science, intellectualism and any sort of reasonable public discourse.
The Florida of 2021 which Ron DeSantis governs is one that has suffered a brain drain the last 20 years – intellectuals, young professionals and white-collar workers have fled the state, replaced by low-income jobs and low-information voters that the GOP has banked for most part. Additionally, the state’s complexion has changed as Citrus groves are turned into zero-lot line housing developments and quaint old urban areas are turned into high-rise condos.
Knock-on impacts from this transformation and overhaul of the population have led to the sort of GOP leaders we see today – out-of-touch with realities. Rubio and DeSantis set the tone for other Republicans in the state who with few exceptions are totally out-to lunch in recent weeks on COVID.
Let’s hope in 2022, the citizens of our state remember this critical time and who viewed the entire crisis as a joke or a media created hoax.