Florida surpassed 200,000 coronavirus cases over the weekend as critics have warned that the Sunshine State could quickly become the next New York, but a comparison of the death rate in each state tells a vastly different story.
Florida broke its all-time single-day case high on Saturday, reporting 11,458 new cases. As NBC News noted, Florida’s record came close to New York State’s single-day record high, which saw 11,571 cases reported on April 14.
On Monday, Florida’s Department of Health added 6,336 cases, bringing the state’s total to 206,447, which has been tallied since March 1.
Critics have, for weeks, warned that Florida is shaping up to be the next New York — an early epicenter of the virus in the United States. While it is true that Florida’s caseload is increasing drastically, the death rate is not following the same pattern.
Florida has reported 3,778 total fatalities, adding 47 on Monday. The total represents less than two percent of all known cases in the state, which has a population of more than 21 million. New York State, which has a population of that exceeds 19 million, has reported over 401,822 cases and 31,895 fatalities, representing close to eight percent of all cases. Of those, 221,637 cases stem from New York City, as do 22,661 of the deaths.
Unlike New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took decisive action at the start of the pandemic to protect the state’s most vulnerable — those in nursing homes — drawing “a firm red line” in the sand. New York leaders, however, required nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients, leading to mass fatalities in long-term care facilities.
While Florida is known for having an older, more vulnerable population, the recent spike in cases is primarily among the younger demographic, according to the governor.
“The case growth has really been in that 18 to 34, 35 age group. Now, those are folks that are, by and large, going to be much less prone to significant consequences,” DeSantis said last week, noting that the median age of the cases is dropping significantly.
“Nevertheless, with the increasing positivity rate, it’s clear that you’re seeing more and more community transmission really being driven by that age group,” he explained:
We have the virus community transmission, particularly with younger people. If you look at where — you go back a month, the median age of our cases was in the 50s. Now the median age of the cases here in Hillsborough County for the entire pandemic has dropped to 34. And there’ll be days where we’ll get cases in Hillsborough County and the median age will be under 30. In Orange County, the median age for the whole pandemic is now 32. There’s days where it’ll be 28 and 29. So it’s been a huge shift.
This phenomenon, an increase in cases coupled with a relatively stagnant death rate, appears to be the case in several areas of the country as well.
As Breitbart News reported:
Breitbart News learned of the fairly steady plunge over the last few weeks in the number of daily new deaths from several databases, maintained by the Times, COVID-Tracking Project, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, and USAFacts.org cited by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the top ten U.S. states ranked by population, the seven-day average of deaths had been going down or remained steady as of Wednesday afternoon, without exceeding their peak levels despite the increase in cases, the COVID Tracking Project revealed.
However, skeptics point to the lag time between infection and death, cautioning that an increase in fatalities could be forthcoming. Nonetheless, the COVID Tracking Project currently shows the average of daily U.S. coronavirus deaths continuing to decline amid the spike in cases in key areas of the country.
The U.S. reported 2,889,303 confirmed cases of the Chinese coronavirus and 129,953 related fatalities as of Monday morning.