WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis marked the third year since “15 Days to Slow the Spread” was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and put the United States under a state of emergency. President Biden has perpetuated issues that arose from widespread lockdowns by enforcing a federal vaccine mandate for health care workers as well as requiring proof of vaccination for international tourists three years after the initial lockdown orders. The President also continues to fight to maintain a federal mask mandate for air travel. These prolonged restrictions have had detrimental effects on Americans and the US economy. To watch the Governor’s full remarks, click here.
“Florida bucked the COVID-19 orthodoxy and instead used commonsense policies to become a refuge of sanity,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Federal vaccine mandates and restrictions were never about protecting Americans from a virus, they were exercising control at the expense of the American economy and the American way of life. In Florida, we did not abdicate our leadership decisions to DC bureaucrats. Instead, we bucked the bureaucrats by ensuring kids could be in school, Floridians could go to work and businesses could thrive.”
“Three years ago, we were told there were 15 days to slow the spread, and today, with nearly 100% of the American public having contracted the coronavirus, the federal government continues to rely on fear and manipulation to peddle vaccines that don’t prevent transmission,” said Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “As the State Surgeon General, I am grateful for the Governor’s leadership and for choosing facts and reason over fear in response to COVID-19 in Florida.”
Despite pseudoscientific policies from the federal government, Florida’s common-sense approach allowed Florida to thrive. In 2022, Florida had the largest net migration in the country and set an all-time record for tourism with 137.6 million visitors. Additionally, Florida’s Gross Domestic Product increased by 24% between the first quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2022, outpacing the nation by 23%.
Florida recognized the importance of in-person learning for students. While other states locked the doors of their schools, Florida was the first state in the nation to mandate in-person learning for students and welcome students back into the classroom. Because of Florida’s smart approach, Florida avoided the learning losses that we are just beginning to comprehend nationwide.
Findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that moving towards remote learning created learning gaps that had lasting impacts on K-12 students while Florida’s students earned the state’s highest ever rankings in each assessment and demonstrated historic achievement gap closure for at-risk students at all levels.
“15 Days to Slow the Spread” policies led the way for lockdown policies that are still causing economic damage to the US economy and have resulted in record inflation rates not experienced since the 1980s. In February:
- Overall inflation rose by 6% over the year.
- Grocery prices rose by 10.2% over the year.
- Energy prices rose 5.2% over the year.