Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will likely refuse to release an accurate count of the number of monkeypox cases in his state–which now number [checking notes] one–as his administration’s policy in address the spread of the virus.
As Axios reports, a person in Broward County has tested positive for monkeypox, a contagious virus for which the smallpox vaccine is 85% effective in preventing serious infection. DeSantis had previously ordered state officials to alter the way coronavirus infections in the state were reported in an effort to reduce the number of confirmed cases in the state; it’s unknown if he’ll attempt to deny the existence of the disease in the state.
While monkeypox is contagious, it is less contagious than coronavirus, with the spread possible through close bodily contact with an infected person. The disease creates welts on the skin, but is fatal in less than 1% of infection cases.
The people of Florida are also hampered by having a Secretary of Health who is a vaccine denier. Joseph Ladapo, a doctor whom DeSantis imported from California to implement a state policy of reduced testing and vaccines in favor of using a monoclonal antibody formula from a company with ties to a major DeSantis donor.
One of the ploys DeSantis instituted to seemingly lower the rate of infections in Florida was to report the dates coronavirus patients first tested positive, rather than the day the infection was reported to the state. He ordered the same done for coronavirus fatalities. This had the effect of drastically lowering the number of deaths and cases reported daily because the data was backfilled in reports.