Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday criticized lawmakers in other states for treating monkeypox as an emergency, saying his state would not succumb to fear in response to the outbreak.
DeSantis, who is notorious for aggressively resisting COVID-19 public safety measures including mask and vaccine requirements, accused officials of using monkeypox to intimidate people.
“I’m tired of politicians — we’ve seen this with COVID — trying to sow fear among the population,” DeSantis said at a news conference.
He continued: “We have no fear.”
DeSantis is seen as a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate to challenge former President Donald Trump. He will be re-elected governor in November. Despite his toasts about his no-rules pandemic policy, Florida’s COVID infection and death rate far exceeds the national average, According to FactCheck.org.
“You see some of these states declaring a state of emergency, and they’re going to abuse those powers to limit your freedom,” DeSantis warned of the monkeypox order. “I promise you, that’s what’s going to happen.”
On Monday, California and Illinois became the latest states to declare monkeypox a public health emergency, joining New York state. These orders typically free up funds and other resources for local health authorities.
Florida records 525 cases of monkeypox, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It was the fifth-highest number in the U.S., up from about 350 infections late last week, reported Wednesday. according to politics.
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), one of the candidates vying to step down DeSantis in November, called for a stronger response to the virus.
“While Governor DeSantis is dismissive of monkeypox, at-risk Floridians still need better information, better testing, and access to preventive vaccines. Get it done!” Christer tweeted wrote.
The White House has not declared a monkeypox emergency.Earlier this week, President Joe Biden appointment FEMA’s Robert Fenton served as the White House monkeypox response coordinator, and Dr. Demeter Daskalakis served as Fenton’s deputy. Their responsibilities include working with local and state officials to “equitably” increase access to testing, treatment and vaccinations.
However, the new New York Times Report It was revealed Wednesday that at the beginning of the outbreak, the U.S. was late to order vaccines from Danish manufacturers. As a result, millions of doses of vaccine will not be delivered until 2023.
Last month, the World Health Organization said the outbreak was an “extraordinary” event and declared a global emergency.