Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement after new evidence emerged showing that the recent spike in COVID-19 deaths was driven by the unvaccinated, at a time when vaccines were widely available. Since mid-June when deaths hit 600,000, vaccines have been accessible to anyone older than 12. This weekend the number of deaths surpassed 700,000. Of those 100,000 excess deaths about 17,000 were in Florida, the most of any state in the nation.
“I am appalled and saddened by this grim milestone, which could have been prevented were it not by the irresponsibility of leaders in the Republican Party who have in many cases undermined vaccination efforts, and in the case of Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, not lifted a finger to encourage Floridians to get vaccinated and save lives.
“Ladies and gentlemen, these are not simply numbers and statistics. Behind each number there is an individual who has left behind grieving friends and families. This massive tragedy did not have to happen by any extent of the imagination. The vast, vast majority of the dead were unvaccinated people, and it angers me that those deaths, and the suffering of their loved ones, could have been prevented.
“Instead of launching massive vaccination campaigns around the state, our governor has instead focused on crisscrossing the country from one fundraiser to the next, while Floridians mourn at funerals from South Florida to the Panhandle. The best solution in his mind has been to promote a treatment in which one of his donors is an investor, while continuing to throw red meat at his base.
“Let’s stop this madness. I implore those who have not been vaccinated to do so. If you know someone who has not, please encourage them to do it. This is a problem with a solution within our reach. It is within our power to prevent one more death, even if our elected leaders refuse to do it.”