Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is to COVID-19 what Tokyo Rose was to the Japanese Empire during World War II. He sounds like a human being, but he propagandizes 24/7 for the virus. Not sure what the procoronavirus lobby is paying him—or if he’s doing all this work pro bono—but it’s been clear for some time whose side he’s on, and it’s not Floridians’. 

Of course, as we all know, this modern-day Johnny COVID-seed has incomprehensibly done everything in his power to promote the virus, including banning school mask mandates and preemptively scuttling the use of vaccine passports, even as Florida is so polluted with coronavirus the famous Epcot Center geosphere is on the verge of sprouting giant spike proteins. (Well, maybe not, but wouldn’t that be a fun prank to pull on Florida? If one of y’all can make the big spikey doodads, I’ll help you attach them in the dead of night.)

DeSantis is doubling down on disease because he wants to be president and hopes to dominate the already crowded “give me liberty and give me death” lane during the GOP primaries, which he no doubt sees as the easiest and “safest” route to the nomination. He probably knows that if he reverses course on his “freedom” bet now he’ll be seen as weak, so lots more dead Floridians are deemed a necessary evil.  

That said, his bet may be starting to backfire as Florida residents begin to grasp that it’s kind of impossible to enjoy your God-given freedoms if you’re trapped in an ICU bed with an intubation tube rammed down your throat.

A new Quinnipiac poll suggests that DeSantis is wildly out of step with his constituents when it comes to COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

WFTS-TV, Tampa:

According to the Quinnipiac University poll, most Floridians, 60-36%, support requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear masks in schools. But, like almost every facet of life in 2021, there is a stark political divide on the issue with 98% of Democrats supporting mandatory masking, 63% of independents supporting the policy, and 72% of Republicans opposing mandating masking.

In a separate question, the Q-Poll found that nearly 70% (68-29) of Floridians said that local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces if they deem it necessary. Almost 60 percent of Floridians (59-39) said everyone should be required to wear masks while in indoor public spaces.

Hmm, I had no idea Florida was harboring so many freedom-haters. Even more concerning for DeSantis is the fact that 61% of Floridians surveyed said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state was preventable.

“Concerns about COVID-19 are palpable, and frustration with the surge in cases is reflected in the fact that a majority of Floridians say it should never have happened,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.

Other findings from the Quinnipiac poll:

While 41 percent say that Governor Ron DeSantis is helping efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, 46 percent say he is hurting efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Twelve percent did not offer an opinion.

Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) say the spread of COVID-19 in the state is out of control, while 34 percent say it is under control.

Almost three-quarters (73 – 25 percent) think the spread of COVID-19 in the state is a serious problem at this time.

That can’t be good news for Captain COVID. It may bode well for DeSantis that 72% of Republicans in the state still oppose mask mandates, but before he becomes a viable presidential candidate he has to get reelected in 2022—and despite what Emperor Caligulard may think, dead people don’t vote. 

DeSantis probably thinks he can bide his time and declare victory in the end regardless of how many corpses he produces, confident that people will forget seeing their relatives drown in their own bodily fluids over Zoom, but he has to be at least a little concerned that the situation is spiraling out of control like it is. Then again, I doubt he’ll back down just to save a few thousand people—not with that brass ring so tantalizingly close.

That said, he has to be at least a little sensitive to polling, even if he remains impervious to gruesome scenes of human suffering. Right? Right?! Oh, tell me I’m right. Please? Pretty please?

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