Tallahassee Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis held a public health roundtable with renowned doctors and epidemiologists to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following individuals participated in the roundtable with Governor DeSantis:
- Sunetra Gupta, epidemiologist and professor of theoretical epidemiology, Oxford University
- Dr. Scott W. Atlas, MD, Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health care policy at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University
- Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford University and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research
- Dr. Martin Kulldorff, PhD, biostatistician, epidemiologist, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School
Topics discussed included lockdowns, non-pharmaceutical interventions, mask mandates, school closures, vaccinations, the failure of models, and a wide array of other subjects regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While Florida has been vilified in the corporate media for much of the past year, the data could not be clearer that our state has fared far better than many others, particularly those that imposed harsh lockdowns on their residents,” said Governor DeSantis. “Lockdowns, school closures, and government mandates have crippled economies, harmed our students and prevented Americans from enjoying their God-given rights across our entire county. Florida has taken a different approach and as a result, our state thrives while others decline.”
To watch the roundtable, click HERE.
Dr. Martin Kulldorf, PhD, said, “With the naïve and mistaken belief that lockdowns, masks and contact tracing could suppress the pandemic, many states ignored standard focused protection measures, leading to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths among the old. Even worse, while protecting the professional Zoom class, lockdowns have caused enormous collateral public health damage across all ages, with children, workers and the vulnerable hit the hardest. Lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in history, and we will be counting the catastrophic physical and mental health harms for many decades.”
Dr. Scott W. Atlas, MD, said, “Florida stands as one of the very few states where the governor understood the data about the virus and used common sense in making policy. Opening in-person schools and eliminating unscientific restrictions and mandates while protecting the elderly saved lives and kept Floridians from suffering the severe harms of lockdowns that other states imposed on their citizens.”
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said, “The most important investment we make as a society is in the education of our children. This fact has unfortunately been forgotten by too many lockdown states. Our children will be paying the costs of missed educational opportunities their entire lives, with harms including shorter, poorer, less healthy lives. The harms will fall especially on the children of the poor and essential worker class who cannot afford to send their children to the expensive private schools that remained open even in lockdown states. All this with no benefit in terms of covid control. By keeping schools open fully in person, Florida followed the science to the great benefit of its children.”
Professor Sunetra Gupta said, “The success of Florida’s approach has demonstrated what the data also tells us, which is that mass lockdowns are not effective. The most heartbreaking element of what’s happened during the pandemic is that children were kept out of school, with the state of Florida being one of the few exceptions. The evidence has been clear that children are not significant vectors of the virus and that school is a safe environment for both children and teachers. As human beings, we have a moral responsibility to keep schools open and to provide children with that atmosphere. For underprivileged children especially, school is a lifeline and to withdraw that opportunity is really unconscionable given that we could have protected those who are most vulnerable.”