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A protester sets up bags representing dead bodies during a funeral procession demonstration by the New Florida Majority (NewFM) in 2020 to protest the lives lost in the pandemic due to inaction by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

Death by Sociopathic DeSantis: No Masks, No Vaccines, No Ice Cream and 233 Fewer Pythons

Abby Zimet

Hey, wanna see Armageddon, aka GOP non-governance, in action? Visit sunny, fatally infectious Florida, which boasts a "negligent, homicidal sociopath" of a governor whose moronic intransigence has made him the leading cause of death in his state. Florida is now the sickest state, with over a third of the country's new COVID cases though just 6% of its population, and four times the infection rate of the next contender, Georgia. On Tuesday, Florida saw a record 51,000 new cases, a whopping increase from an earlier, obscene seven-day average of about 18,000 a day, which in turn represents a 700% increase from a month ago. Almost 40,000 Floridians have died of COVID; over 11,515 are currently hospitalized, a pandemic record, with at least 2,400 in ICUs; some hospitals are already at double their capacity; experts predict that, "Short term and long term, the cases are going to explode"; and Florida leads the nation in children hospitalized for COVID. This week, at least seven kids are in the ICU, struggling to breathe.

For their and their families' trouble, they can thank GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, now widely known as #DeathSantis, the whiney, mindless, power-mad former-guy-mini-me who's been stubbornly busy tending to the state's most pressing problems - pushing through a voter suppression bill, banning critical race theory to protect schoolchildren from "indoctrination," or "facts" about racism in this country, barring trans kids from sports, and, with COVID raging out of control, safeguarding his constituents' freedom (to get sick and die) by refusing to lift a governmental finger to stop it. Having fought against lockdowns, school closures and vaccine mandates by cruise ships or other private businesses, he recently, astoundingly issued an executive order banning mask mandates in schools; when the entirely rational backlash to that insanity began, he threatened to defund schools that dare to try to protect their kids from a deadly pandemic, thus creating the new concept of what enraged parents are calling "education at risk of death."

Increasingly facing the palpable wrath of constituents - as in, "WTF is this guy's problem?" - and evidently forgetting about the GOP's whole "party of personal responsibility" shtick, DeSantis has responded to widespread charges of "mass murder," "negligent homicide," "megalomania" and "genocide" by whining, deflecting, and whining again. When Biden charged he should stop killing people or get out of the way, DeSantis sputtered that until the southern border's secure - though Florida's surrounded by water and nowhere near it - "I don't want to hear a blip about COVID." (Lookit the two psychopaths celebrating behind him.) When a reporter asked about kids in the ICU, he bloviated he's "sick of the judgmental stuff on some of this stuff" and "I find it DEPLORABLE to blame a victim who ends up being hospitalized. You don't know their story!" and "this has been a really negative thing (with) some of these quote experts" and "nobody's trying to get ill here, okay?" though it sure does seem like he's doing his damnedest to make that happen.

Besides, he has other Important Work to do, like fighting the good food fight and banning Ben & Jerry's ice cream after their founders, both Jewish, said they will no longer do business in Israel's occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Harumphing he "will not stand idly by as woke corporate ideologues" actually act on their principles, DeSantis put Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, on Florida's list of "Scrutinized Companies"; if Unilever doesn't "cease and desist" its "boycott" of Israel - "a thriving democracy with incredible people and culture," and some of his best friends are Jews - the state will refuse to contract with it or its 400 brands. Mr. Death was also Very Busy celebrating the winners of the 2021 Florida Python Challenge - "Ulitmate (sic) Grand Prize of $10,000!" - that saw over 600 people, presumably unmasked and unvaccinated, remove a record 223 pythons from south Florida. Alas, that joyful news failed to cheer the embattled families of kids hospitalized with COVID, some of whom posted wrenching photos of their children's ordeals. "Just so you motherfuckers know what it looks like when a six-month-old baby gets COVID," read one. "My nephew has been in ER for 9 hours waiting for a room. He is vomiting blood," wrote another. "#DeathSantis did this to us."

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email:

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