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Trust Index: Fact checking Gov. Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 comments

Florida governor says news media didn't ask about coronavirus in May

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – News 6 puts Gov. Ron DeSantis’s comments through the Trust Index.

At a press conference Tuesday, DeSantis talked about the positivity rates of people being tested for Coronavirus.

"Obviously you've seen a higher percentage test positive now, but just understand some of those states were testing at 60 to 70 percent," DeSantis said.

He made a similar claim Wednesday using different numbers.

"We have seen positivity rates 50-60 percent in some parts of the country," he said.

News 6 asked him to elaborate.

“You mentioned yesterday some states were 60-70 percent positivity rates, can you tell us which states you were referring to?” News 6 asked.

"That was in March and early April," DeSantis responded.

New York had a positivity rate of about 50% in April, according to the Gothamist, a New York news outlet.

California also had a 50% positivity rate in April, according to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Because DeSantis did not name a state, and gave two different sets of numbers, News 6 gives his claim “Be careful” on the Trust Index.

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

What is the Trust Index?

At a press conference last week, DeSantis talked about the lower number of Coronavirus cases in May versus today.

"I would do press events in May, I would never be asked about Coronavirus, it was about all these other things," DeSantis said.

DeSantis says the media wasn’t asking him about the virus so the public thought it was over, however, News 6 counted 18 press conferences the governor had in the month of May.

All of those news conferences were either about the coronavirus or he was asked about the virus from reporters.

When News 6 tried to ask him questions about testing on Wednesday during a news conference in Daytona Beach--he refused to answer.

“Governor we have another question,” News 6 said. “We have people who are going to testing sites at 1 a.m. to make sure they get a test, but they say it takes 7-10 days to get the results back. Is there a way to lower that turn-around time?”

DeSantis got into his waiting SUV and closed the door.

Based on the number of news conferences and reporter questions, we give DeSantis’s comments about media coverage--”Not True” on the Trust Index.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

One of the Desantis’s people said they could email the answer to our question, which is the same thing they say every time the governor refuses to answer a question.


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