Fact Check: Ron DeSantis' '300 Percent More' COVID Cases Claim

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has continued to criticize President Joe Biden as they continue to disagree in how to deal with the ongoing issues posed by COVID-19.

The Claim

When taking questions after a press conference on Friday, September 10, Governor DeSantis took aim at Biden's recent actions on COVID-19 and questioned there being "300 percent more cases in this country today than a year ago."

DeSantis said: "This is a guy that promised, when he ran for president, that he would shut down the virus.

"If you look now, there's 300 percent more cases in this country today than a year ago when we had no vaccines at all."

DeSantis' statement can be seen in the video below.

Gov. Ron DeSantis: "I think the problem I have with Joe Biden, more than anything, this guy doesn't take responsibility for anything. He's always trying to blame other people, blame other states." pic.twitter.com/vLE3V6GKR7

— The Hill (@thehill) September 11, 2021

The Facts

According to OurWorldInData, an Oxford University-affiliated organization that provides statistics on COVID, the U.S. recorded 144,801 new cases of COVID on September 10 based on a rolling seven-day average—the same day DeSantis made his "300 percent" more cases claim.

The same dataset shows that on September 10, 2020, the U.S. recorded 35,100 new cases of COVID.

The difference between these two figures marks a 312 percent increase, meaning DeSantis was correct in terms of average daily new cases.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a similar figure. On September 10, 2021 the CDC reported 162,179 daily new cases of COVID.

On September 10, 2020 it reported 41,047 daily new cases of COVID. This marks an increase of 295 percent between those two dates.

The Florida governor's remarks come after the president introduced sweeping new rules that could affect as many as 100 million Americans.

DeSantis criticized Biden, accusing him of what he called federal overreach, which he argued threatened jobs in Florida.

During a presidential debate in October 2020 when Biden was fighting for the White House against then-incumbent Donald Trump, he said: "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country."

Newsweek has contacted DeSantis' office and the White House for comment.

It is not the first clash between the pair, and DeSantis is not the only governor to have been critical of Biden in recent times. The president is currently facing lawsuits threatened by various Republican governors over his new vaccine and testing mandates, and has suggested he is willing to fight his corner in court.

In response to the threats, he said during a visit to a middle school in Washington, D.C. on Friday last week that he was "disappointed" in "some Republican governors."

The Ruling

Fact Check - True



The number of new COVID cases recorded in the U.S. on September 10, 2021, marked around a 300 percent increase from the figure on September 10, 2020.

Based on figures from rolling seven-day averages from each of the dates, the increase was 312 percent.

Ron DeSantis
Florida governor Ron DeSantis speaking at a press conference in Miami, Florida, in April 2021. There are tensions between some state governors and president Joe Biden over federal COVID measures. Joe Raedle/Getty
True: The claim is verifiably correct. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be true. Read more about our ratings.

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