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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has refused to declare a state of emergency over the state’s rising monkeypox cases, claiming the media and politicians needlessly fuel fears of the disease.

Asked about the state’s rising cases at a news conference in Brevard County on Wednesday, the Republican governor announced an opioid treatment plan.

In response, he said Florida would not adopt a “fear” policy.

“I’m tired of politicians, we’ve seen this with Covid, trying to sow fear in the population,” Mr DeSantis said. “We’ve had people calling and mothers worrying about whether their kids will catch it at school. .”

“We have no fear,” he added. “And we’re not going to go out and try to piss people off and try to act like people can’t live the way they normally do because of something.”

Mr. DeSantis, who has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s response to Covid-19, has also slammed blue states that have declared a state of emergency over rising monkeypox cases, saying they limit people’s freedoms.

“You’re going to see some of these states declare states of emergency. They’re going to abuse those emergency powers to limit your freedom. I assure you that’s what’s going to happen,” Mr. DeSantis said.

“Any of these politicians you see are trying to scare you with this – don’t listen to their nonsense,” he said.

Rep. Charlie Christ, who is challenging the Republicans in Florida’s gubernatorial race, slammed the governor’s comments on Twitter.

“While Governor DeSantis is dismissive of monkeypox, at-risk Floridians still need better information, better testing, and access to preventive vaccines,” Mr. Crist wrote.

Florida has reported more than 500 cases of monkeypox, more than doubling from last week. There are concerns that cases could spike further as schools open.

To date, more than 6,300 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, and the total number of infections worldwide has now exceeded 25,300.



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