Florida’s total COVID-19 case rate is higher than the national rate and 10th highest in the U.S. But social media posts and the state’s governor point to a recent decline in daily cases as evidence of Florida’s success in handling COVID-19, while ignoring the full impact of the pandemic’s toll on the state.
A manipulated image online shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holding a T-shirt reading, “Your mask is as useless as Joe Biden.” DeSantis and the White House have sparred, including on the issue of masks, but the original photo is from 2019 and actually shows DeSantis holding a Popeyes restaurant shirt.
Amid a surge in Florida’s COVID-19 cases, a Facebook meme dated June 24 falsely claims the state’s surgeon general recommended that people stop wearing face masks. The surgeon general actually issued an advisory two days earlier saying everyone in Florida “should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.”