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Florida government Ron DeSantis reacted to recent measures taken in response to the outbreak of the monkeypox virus in the United States, telling reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that his government “is not scary.”
The Republican governor said at a press briefing that Florida would “focus on the facts instead.”
“I’m so sick of politicians – and we’ve seen it with COVID – trying to instill fear in the population,” he said. “We had people calling, mothers worried about whether their kids might catch it at school.”
“We don’t scare,” DeSantis added. “And, we’re not going to go out and try to piss people off and try to act like people can’t live their lives like they normally do because of something.”
He claimed leaders of states that have declared public health emergencies will abuse those powers to “restrict your freedom.”
“I guarantee you that’s what will happen,” he said. “We’ve seen it so much with COVID.”
Govt. Kathy Hochul, Gavin Newsom and JB Pritzker – all Democrats from New York, California and Illinois, respectively – have declared states of emergency on the spread of monkeypox.
New York currently accounts for 1,666 of the US cases.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 525 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus reported in Florida and now 6,617 nationwide.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a global health emergencywith the virus spreading in dozens of countries that generally do not have infections.
Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close, personal, and often skin-to-skin contact, including direct contact with objects and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
A pregnant person can transmit the virus to their fetus through the placenta.