Migrants not the cause of Florida COVID surge

August 11, 2021 ☼ desantisfloridapandemicmigrationlies

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Link

“He’s imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border. You have hundreds of thousands of people pouring across every month,” DeSantis said. “You have over 100 different countries where people are pouring through. Not only are they letting them through — they’re then farming them out all across our communities across this country. Putting them on planes, putting them on buses.”

DeSantis doubled down in a fundraising letter later that day: “Joe Biden has the nerve to tell me to get out of the way on COVID while he lets COVID-infected migrants pour over our southern border by the hundreds of thousands. No elected official is doing more to enable the transmission of COVID in America than Joe Biden with his open borders policies.”

Public health experts said it’s reasonable to be concerned about coronavirus spreading among migrants, especially if they’re living in close quarters. “It would be fair to say that detention centers, like prisons, are likely to be ‘hotspots’ for transmission,” said Babak Javid, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. “We saw a lot of this last year,” earlier in the pandemic.

But they said there is no evidence it’s happening on the scale that DeSantis described.

It may well be that immigrants coming illegally into the country are contributing to COVID-19 caseloads, “but given the extensive transmission already in the U.S., the immigration contribution is akin to pouring a bucket of water into a swimming pool,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “It’s hard to measure and pretty trivial.”

It’s a blip in total, and an even smaller blip in Florida.