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Media Spin CDC Data to Hype Coronavirus Hospitalization ‘Surge,’ Attack Florida

By Craig Bannister | August 5, 2021 | 3:29pm EDT
(Getty Image/Pascal Pochard)

Liberal media headlines are warning that the number of COVID hospitalizations in the U.S. may “surge” to last summer’s level and overwhelm the nation’s hospitals. But, CDC data show that last summer’s COVID hospitalizations were well below the levels recorded in the winter months and into 2021.

Despite their extravagant headlines warning of the threat to the nation’s hospital system, many of the articles quickly turned their focus to Florida, where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has refused to impose or allow mask mandates:

Reuters: "Delta variant surges across U.S. South; political leaders clamp down again"

“The U.S. states of Florida and Louisiana were at or near their highest hospitalization numbers of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, driven by the still-spreading Delta variant, as one doctor warned of the ‘darkest days’ yet.”

CNN: "Unvaccinated Covid-19 patients are filling up hospitals, putting the care of others at risk, doctors say"

“Hospitals are surging with unvaccinated patients infected with the Delta variant -- which could affect car accident victims and other non-Covid-19 patients who need hospital care, doctors say.

“’None of these patients thought they would get the virus, but the Delta variant has proven to be so highly contagious that even the young and the healthy, including pregnant patients, are now starting to fill up our hospitals,’ said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer for AdventHealth Central Florida.”

Axios: "Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging to last summer's levels"

“Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging once again, threatening to overburden some local health care systems just as badly as the waves that hit last spring and summer.

“Florida is setting new COVID-19 hospitalization records, forcing the state's largest hospital systems to limit visitors, expand coronavirus units and prepare for staffing shortages, ABC News reports.”

“In many states where the virus is taking off, there's no political appetite at all for the mitigation policies that would help slow Delta's spread,” the Axios article opines.

But, the headline of the ABC News article cited by Axios actually touts Florida’s success in handling the increased number of COVID patients and the story notes that COVID infections vary by season:

ABC News: "Florida hospitals taking steps to battle record COVID surge"

“Florida’s largest hospital systems are expanding their coronavirus units, limiting visitors and fearing staffing shortages as they deal with the statewide surge that is breaking records set last year for both cases and hospitalizations.”

….

“Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the surge is seasonal, caused by people gathering inside to avoid the summer heat and humidity. He has barred local governments and school districts from imposing mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements.”

According to the CDC report detailing “Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations,” the number of COVID-related hospitalizations in the U.S. hit last year’s summer peak during the week ending July 18, then proceeded to decline until mid-September, when it began rising, eventually surpassing its summer high the last week of October.

 

In Florida on Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis reported that the number of hospital admissions has slowed and will soon begin to settle, following last year’s pattern:

"We are watching the CLI. That is plateauing. The hospital admissions have slowed. I don't think we've reached the peak yet. But I think we're gonna settle in hopefully this week or next week."

Despite the spike in COVID-related hospitalizations in the state, the Florida Hospital Association reported Tuesday that only 84% of all inpatient beds were in use and just 86.5% of inpatient ICU beds were being utilized.

(Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

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