Joe Nocera, a columnist for Bloomberg, initially had words of praise for Trump-loving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's approach to the novel coronavirus, as he believed that the state had gotten the virus under control without imposing an overly punitive lockdown.
After watching both COVID-19 cases and deaths surge in the Sunshine State, however, Nocera has written a new column admitting that his past praise for DeSantis was entirely wrong.
"Florida is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.," writes Nocera. "Since July 10, the number of new positive cases has averaged more than 10,000 a day. As of Wednesday, the total number of cases was nearly 380,000 according to the state’s health department. The positivity rate -- the percentage of those tested who turn out to be infected -- is well above 18%. Hospitals in Miami-Dade County are approaching capacity."
Nocera goes on to explain why he praised DeSantis in two separate columns written earlier this year.
"I also believed that full-scale lockdowns cause more harm than good," he writes. "I admired his willingness to buck the conventional wisdom. As a result, I was willing to overlook other things he was doing -- or not doing -- such as refusing to impose a statewide mask requirement."
As the weeks have gone by, Nocera says he's heard more and more anger directed at DeSantis.
"This time, I can’t disagree," he concludes. "He’s earned it fair and square."