Florida's governor has described CDC recommendations to wear face masks as 'the most significant threat to freedom in my lifetime,' accusing the health agencies of 'medical authoritarianism.'

Ron DeSantis also blasted the CDC for overestimating Florida COVID cases by almost 10,000 on Sunday, and laid into Joe Biden, claiming the president is more interested in attacking him to score political points than in halting the spread of the virus. 

DeSantis, 42, is pushing back against guidance from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reintroduce mask mandates, despite 25,000 new COVID cases reported on Wednesday.

Florida is the current epicenter of the virus, with higher numbers of confirmed cases than any other, and the only state in the U.S. with more than 25 per cent of hospital beds in use for COVID-19 patients. 

Yet he described attempts to bring in public health measures as 'medical authoritarianism'. 

'They are basically saying that we are all just subservient to a medical authoritarianism,' DeSantis told Tucker Carlson.

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, on Thursday night appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, on Thursday night appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show

Hillsborough County Rescue first responders admit a patient to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida, on August 3

Hillsborough County Rescue first responders admit a patient to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida, on August 3

'Whatever they think needs to be done, we have to submit to it.

'It's probably the most significant threat to freedom in my lifetime. Certainly since the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

'Taking it to its logical conclusion, you end up with Australia where they are forcing lockdowns at the point of bayonet.'


DeSantis said he was proud of pushing back against pressure to make children in schools wear face masks. 


'I was attacked last year for having kids in school. They said it was outrageous, the only big state to have it all year, for all,' he said. 

'We know now about masks or no masks.

'Do you know how we know? There are a lot of schools throughout the United States and Europe that didn't have masks, including in Florida.

'We had some districts had them last year, some districts that didn't: there is no statistical difference in results from COVID as a result of this.

'Our view is that you shouldn't have government forcing kindergartners to wear masks for eight hours a day.

'That should be a decision for the parents.

'So parents in Florida have the ability to make that choice.' 

The hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, on August 3 displayed a sign urging mask wearing

The hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, on August 3 displayed a sign urging mask wearing


President Joe Biden has been at loggerheads with DeSantis, in particular after DeSantis refused to bring back mask mandates or allow venues to insist on proof of vaccination.

'I say to these governors: Please help, but if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way,' said Biden.  

DeSantis fired back that he did not want to 'hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you,' adding: 'Why don't you do your job?' 

On Thursday night he once again told Biden to focus on running the country rather than attacking him. 

'The White House, they are more concerned about trying to attack me than actually dealing with the problems of the country,' said DeSantis.

'I don't see them dealing with the border crisis. I don't see them dealing with inflation. Obviously energy prices are out of control, yet they have this obsession with Florida.

'And, look, we are obviously cutting against the grain, standing up the federal overreach, we are proud of doing that.

'But they should really focus in getting the job done that they were elected to do and they are not doing that right now.

'This is a president that ran saying he was going to shutdown the virus.

'How do you shut it down when you bring in hundreds of thousands of people, from over 100 different countries, with whatever variant? 

'Coming over the border knowingly, and let them in, and farm them out all over the United States.

'Clearly they have a different agenda at play.'

DeSantis complained that Biden was trying to ¿single out Florida'
Biden asked governors limiting COVID restrictions to 'get out of the way'

The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, left, during an angry press conference asked Joe Biden, right, 'why don't you do your job at the border' 


And he referenced the CDC's admission that they had miscalculated Florida's COVID data, saying: 'They took three days of data, put it over like two and made it look like a massive increase.'

He added: 'I do not know exactly what happened. I do not know what the motivation is.' 

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) accused the CDC of misreporting the state's weekend COVID-19 numbers.

The federal health agency had posted that 28,317 new COVID cases were recorded in the Sunshine State on Sunday - a record-high that was reported by multiple media outlets.

However, the DOH stated that is true total was 15,319 cases, indicating an over-count of more than 13,000. 

On Wednesday, the CDC updated Florida's new cases to 23,958 for Friday, 21,487 on Saturday and 19,584 on Sunday - quietly admitting that the state DOH was right - but did not offer an explanation as to why.

Interestingly, the revised CDC numbers are still higher than totals the DOH published to its Twitter account on Monday. 

CORRECT: CDC has revised Florida's COVID-19 figures after the state Department of Health accused the agency of overcounting Sunday's totals. Updates figures show 19,584 new cases on Sunday
INCORRECT: CDC reported a new record of more than 28,000 cases on Sunday. Florida's DOH accused the CDC of combining multiple days' worth of data into one

CDC revised Florida's COVID-19 figures after the state Department of Health accused the agency of overcounting Sunday's totals with updated figures showing 19,584 new cases (left). CDC previously reported an inaccurate new record of more than 28,000 cases (right)

Florida's DOH said the true number of cases on Sunday is 15,000, making the CDC's original number an overreport of 13,000 cases and not a record-high

Florida's DOH said the true number of cases on Sunday is 15,000, making the CDC's original number an overreport of 13,000 cases and not a record-high

The DOH official Twitter account took aim at local news outlets who published stories about the state setting a new record of daily COVID-19 cases on Monday, citing the CDC data.

'This is not accurate,' the agency tweeted on Monday evening, in response to an article by WSVN 7 News in Miami.

'Florida follows CDC guidelines reporting cases Monday through Friday, other than holidays. 

'Consequently, each Monday or Tuesday, there will be two or three days of data reported at a time. When data is published, it is attributed evenly to the previous days.'

According to the Florida DOH, a total of 56,386 cases over three days over the weekend - 21,500 on Friday, 19,567 on Saturday and 15,319 on Sunday. 

Revised CDC data included 2,000 additional cases on Friday and Saturday, and nearly 4,000 additional cases on Sunday.  

Florida does not report daily COVID-19 cases to the public.

Instead, starting in June 2021, the state decided to gather a week's worth of cases and report the total on Friday afternoon.

State health officials cited the falling case and test positivity rate as reason for the change two months ago.

In the time since, Florida has suffered the nation's largest outbreak of the virus, accounting for 20 percent of active cases. 

Other states have followed Florida is the halting of daily case reporting, including Iowa and South Dakota.

Nebraska has stopped reporting on any county-level data at all, with only some individual counties throughout the state still making numbers public.  

Nebraska's COVID-19 dashboard is also no longer available to the public.  

Exact numbers from the state can not be deciphered, but it is clear the Covid situation in Florida is dire.

Cases have increase more than eight-fold over the past month, from an average of over 3,000 cases a day in mid-July to now over 27,000 a day in mid-August.   

The CDC considers every county in the state to be of 'high' COVID-19 transmission.

Cases across the United States are still rising due to an Indian 'Delta' variant fueled outbreak.

Over the past two weeks, average daily cases have grown from 63,361 on July 27 to 124,470 on August 9 - a 96 per cent increase in cases.

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