Florida’s COVID-19 response has outperformed lockdown states on excess deaths, education, and the economy


According to data released today by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office, Florida is outperforming lockdown states like California and New York on all metrics. Florida has lower per-capita mortality, higher availability of in-person education, and a lower unemployment rate.

Excess deaths

  • Compared to Florida, 34 states had a higher rate of all-cause mortality from 2019 to 2020, per capita. Higher-than-average increases indicate that states probably had extra deaths resulting from lockdown policies, not just from COVID-19.
  • Compared to Florida, 38 other states rank higher for per-capita COVID-19 mortality among seniors 65 and older.

Florida has fewer pediatric COVID-19 cases while having the highest rate of in-person instruction offered.

  • Schools have been open in Florida, and Florida still has fewer COVID-19 cases among kids when compared to other large states on a per capita basis. (New York is not included because they don’t make pediatric cases publicly available).

From the beginning, Governor DeSantis has emphasized nursing homes and protecting the most vulnerable.

  • California and New York had significantly higher rates for new COVID-19 cases per 1 million compared to Florida.
  • California and New York had significantly higher hospitalizations per 1 million compared to Florida.
  • Governor DeSantis acted early in the pandemic to protect the state’s most vulnerable, and his actions saved lives:
    • Governor DeSantis established 23 COVID-19 dedicated nursing facilities across the state to prevent spread within long-term care facilities, help with hospital decompression, and protect long-term care patients. The Governor also required hospitals to test all individuals discharged to long-term care facilities and required these facilities to transfer COVID-19 positive residents if the facility was not equipped for appropriate care.
    • Governor DeSantis issued an executive order putting Seniors First and prioritizing seniors 65 and older to receive the vaccine. To date, 40% of Florida’s nearly 4.5 million senior population have received a vaccine.
    • Governor DeSantis deployed Florida National Guard and Florida Department of Health Strike Teams to nursing homes and assisted living facilities for testing throughout the pandemic, and now for vaccine distribution.
    • Governor DeSantis launched a pilot program for homebound seniors, including Holocaust survivors, WWII and Korean War veterans, and anti-communist Bay of Pigs veterans, to prioritize and protect our Greatest Generation.

Florida’s economic recovery is leading the nation.

  • Florida leads the nation’s most populous states in unemployment rate for December 2020, and Florida was well below the national average.
  • Home sales in Florida continued to increase during the height of the pandemic as Americans fled lockdown states.
  • U-Haul migration data shows that Florida ranks 3rd in the nation for one-way rental moving vans. California ranks 50th (at the bottom), and New York ranks 42nd.


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