October 9, 2020


MAGA-Crazy Retirement Village Now Fears COVID--and Pence (Francisco Alvarado & Kelly Weill, Oct. 09, 2020, Daily Beast)

"The virus was a hoax here until Trump got it," Chris Stanley, president of The Villages Democratic Club, said of the MAGA crowd's attitude. "The other night they did a prayer vigil and for the first time, they posted in a big font, 'You must wear a mask.' I looked on the webcam and didn't see many wearing masks, but they now seem to be accepting this is not a Democrat hoax at all."

Marissa Levine, an infectious disease expert at the University of South Florida, said it was on elected officials to demonstrate safe habits. That category does not include campaign rallies among vulnerable communities when you have recently been proximal to a possible superspreader event.

"It is really important for leaders to role-model the behaviors that are being recommended from a public health point of view," Levine told The Daily Beast. "In effect, they are flouting the CDC guidelines."

People exposed to COVID-19 should comply with adequate testing, contact tracing, and isolation measures, especially when preparing to meet with senior citizens, Levine said. "In an area where there are individuals, based on age alone, at higher risk for complication and death, that seems like a concerning thing to do," she said of a Pence Villages visit.

Sumter County, where a majority of the sprawling housing development is located, has reported a total of 2,593 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Two hundred and sixty people have been hospitalized and 75 have died--a mortality rate of 3 percent of all positive cases, which is 1 percentage point higher than the statewide average for deaths, according to the latest update from the Florida Department of Health.

Over the past week, Sumter County has experienced some of the highest daily positivity rates in the state. On Sept. 30, the daily positivity rate was 21.86 percent. Then it dropped below 10 percent for six consecutive days. But on Oct. 7, the daily positivity rate sprang up to 15.3 percent. The daily case count jumped from just 14 on Tuesday to 98 on Wednesday.

Posted by at October 9, 2020 7:18 AM