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White House coronavirus adviser stumbles, struggles to explain similar virus numbers despite differing lockdown approaches

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White House coronavirus adviser struggles to explain similar virus numbers despite differing lockdown approaches

White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt appeared not to be able to explain why some states that don’t have strict responses to the pandemic, such as Florida, seemingly fare no worse than largely locked-down states like California.

By: Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, February 18, 2021:

“There’s so much of this virus that we think we understand, and we think we can predict, that’s just a little beyond our explanation,” Slavitt said when asked by MSNBC why Florida and California have similar COVID-19 numbers despite differences in policy responses. “What we do know is the more careful people are, the more they mask and social distance, and the quicker we vaccinate, the quicker it goes away and the less it spreads.”

Slavitt noted that variants make the virus hard to predict and warned that the country needs to remain vigilant.

“We’ve got to get better visibility into variants. We don’t know what role they play,” Slavitt said. “As we all have learned by this time, this is a virus that continues to surprise us. It’s very hard to predict, and, all around the country, we’ve got to continue to do a better job, and I think we are, but we’re not done yet.”

California has implemented the strictest lockdown policies in the country, according to a Wallet Hub analysis, while Florida remains one of the least restrictive states.

Despite frequent criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s approach, the governor has shown little sign he plans on backing down. In a fiery speech Monday, DeSantis slammed updated CDC guidance that called for some schools to remain closed to in-person instruction and vowed to keep the doors to Florida’s schools open.

“What the CDC put out, 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, I wonder why they would do it then, was quite frankly a disgrace. It would require, if you actually follow that, closing 90% of schools in the United States,” DeSantis said. “We are open, we remain open, and we are not turning back.”

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