BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – When Florida House Rep. Randy Fine said he saw COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations recently spike in Brevard County he had to speak out and he’s using social media to get his message across.
“Different viewpoints don’t bother me because everyone needs to make the right decision for them. It frustrates me when people put up intentionally incorrect information,” Fine said. “I can put out the data and let people make their own decision. But there’s anger. People saying, ‘You’re not going to demand everyone get it’ and ‘You’re lying.’ I was surprised by that.”
Fine’s posts about recent COVID-19 positivity rates and information about the vaccine have been getting hundreds of comments and dozens of shares. Not all agreeing with the information. Some commenters are making COVID political.
“There’s people saying ‘It’s not credible. They just want to argue. Another comment said ‘Biggest scam in human history.’ I’m not responding to that comment,” said Fine as he read aloud some of the responses to his posts.
“The director of the National Institutes of Health has said 99% of the people hospitalized with COVID right now are unvaccinated. That is a fact. Unless you want to call him -- who had the same job under President Trump-- Unless you want to call President Trump’s director of national health a liar, that data is pretty compelling,” said Fine.
Fine says he wants everyone to take the pandemic seriously, encouraging his constituents to get the vaccine. About a year ago, Fine was posting updates from a hospital bed after doctors told him he tested positive for COVID-19.
“They told me I was going to die, and I wouldn’t be able to tell my kids goodbye. It’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Fine.
The latest data from the Florida Department of Health shows Brevard County has a 16% positivity rate with more than 1,400 new cases of COVID-19, double the number of cases from the previous week.
“I think part of the problem we’re having right now is everyone is behaving like COVID is over. People aren’t wearing their masks and doing things the way they had before the pandemic. That’s OK if you got vaccinated, but it’s not if you haven’t,” said Fine.
His message: Get vaccinated or protect yourself by wearing a mask.
“My concern is that the numbers shoot back up and we end up right back where we were a year ago, where people are starting to say we should stay home, and places are closing. I don’t want any of that,” said Fine. “What I tell people is this: President Trump got the vaccine, President Biden got the vaccine, Governor DeSantis got the vaccine, I got the vaccine. We’re not asking people to do things we haven’t already done.”
Fine said he had questions about the vaccine at first because he was unsure if he needed one after he already contracted COVID-19. But he said his antibodies were getting low and would go away, so he decided to get the vaccine in May.
Fine said he would never agree to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory but wants to put the data and facts out there so people can make the best decision for themselves and their families. Fine is also encouraging those who aren’t vaccinated to continue following CDC recommendations and wear a mask in group settings.