Monkeypox controversy in Florida, with over 500 confirmed cases

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Monkeypox controversy in Florida with seven confirmed cases in Southwest Florida. (CREDIT: WINK News)

There are just over 6,600 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States with seven in Southwest Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo did not seem to be concerned over the virus during Wednesday’s press conference. DeSantis took more shots at Dr. Anthony Fauci over monkeypox.

DeSantis blasted Fauci’s policies during the AIDS era, comparing it to what’s happening now amid a monkeypox outbreak. He said he is sick of politicians sowing fear into the public over disease outbreaks.

“We are not going to be like Fauci in the ’80s, claiming that families could get AIDS by sitting and watching TV together,” DeSantis said.

The interview DeSantis is referring to with Dr. Fauci is from 1983. DeSantis said the same scaremongering from the 1980s is happening right now.

Ladapo made it clear Wednesday that monkeypox is mostly affecting men and being spread through sexual contact. The local LGBTQ+ community is keeping an eye on what’s happening with monkeypox.

“As of right now we really haven’t had people reach out…but if they reach out we’d know where to take it from there,” Naples Pride President Cori Craciun said.

As of Wednesday night, there are only three confirmed cases of monkeypox in Collier County. Naples Pride was on a call with The White House monkeypox response team Wednesday afternoon.

Craciun said she’s not focused on the political aspect, rather she’s focused on the problem itself. She is pleased with Collier County’s response to the monkeypox outbreak.

“I think the health department is doing the right thing and the CDC is doing the right thing so they’re on top of it just because the governor doesn’t talk about it doesn’t mean things are not happening behind the scenes and the issues are not being addressed,” Craciun said.

There are more than 500 cases of monkeypox in the state of Florida, but no public health emergency has been declared. DeSantis says decisions in Florida will be made “based on facts and not fear.”

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