Florida’s loose approach to the coronavirus pandemic is playing out in ways that are entirely predictable. The state is currently has more confirmed cases of the new UK coronavirus variant than any other and is on-pace to break its own monthly record for deaths nearly one year into the epidemic.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the state has had 2,086 resident deaths so far in February. That works out to 173 deaths per day. Should that hold, the state will have 4,844 deaths by the end of the month. That’s more than the mark set last month with 4,806 resident deaths. The rising rate is troubling, as it could mean an even more deadly month is in store for March.
In the midst of these spikes, the City of Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. After the hometown Buccaneers won, photos of maskless revelers went viral. Governor Ron DeSantis failed to criticize Tampa partiers.
"The media is worried about that, obviously, you guys really love that,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Wednesday. “You don’t care as much if it’s a quote ‘peaceful protest,’ then it’s fine. You don’t care as much if they’re celebrating a Biden election. You only care about it if it’s people you don’t like. I'm a Bucs fan. I’m damn proud of what they did on Sunday night.”
Tampa is gearing up for another major sporting event, numbers be damned. Wrestlemania 37 will take place in April in the city’s Raymond James Stadium, marking a return to in-person attendance at the promotion’s events.