On Friday, according to NPR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 23,903 new coronavirus cases in Florida—a record single-day total since the beginning of the COVID pandemic… and then they continued to rise (to 28,316 and 28,317 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively). Last night it was reported that the state is looking for outside help, asking the federal government for 300 ventilators as its hospital capacity is pushed to its limit.
As if a deadly virus weren’t enough, the state also has to contend with Governor Ron DeSantis, who has reacted to his state’s troubling upward COVID trend by… [checks notes] threatening to withhold the salaries of any education officials who attempt to enact a mask mandate and blaming the state’s COVID problem on immigrants?
On Sunday night, Seth Meyers laid into DeSantis for his wild leap of logic in suggesting that Florida’s growing—and very, very deadly—COVID problem has nothing to do with a governor who is now threatening to punish people who do the one simple thing that every health official has been recommending since this pandemic began: wear a mask. No, no, no. DeSantis placed the blame at the feet of Joe Biden, saying: “This is a guy who ran for president saying he was going to ‘shut down the virus.’ And what has he done? He [has] imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border.” DeSantis then issued a challenge to Biden directly, declaring: “Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
DeSantis’ decision to equate two things that have nothing to do with each other, i.e. border security and the fact that, per NPR, one in every four hospital beds in the state of Florida is occupied by a COVID patient, was not lost on Meyers:
“I’m no scientist, but I do have Google Maps on my phone and I’m pretty sure the border has nothing to do with the Florida COVID surge since the border’s like a thousand miles from Florida. You don’t get to blame something that far away from your problems. If a kid in Nebraska throws his frisbee in the neighbor’s lawn, you can’t say it was caught in the strong winds of La Nina.”
Except that’s exactly what DeSantis has chosen to do. And he doesn’t want to hear a blip otherwise.
You can watch the full clip above, beginning around the 11:10 mark.