COVID numbers have dropped in the Sunshine State while rising in blue states after the media dubbed Florida Governor Rick Scott “DeathSantis” and claimed Floridians would be infected indefinitely.

After a temporary spike that sparked a barrage of media attention over the summer, the number of Covid cases in Florida has dropped for the fifth week in a row, and new cases are among the lowest in the country. Major news outlets have blamed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pro-freedom policies for the uptick.

“Florida is now outperforming every state in the contiguous United States in terms of new COVID-19 cases per capita. And they did it all without a Vax Pass system, widespread business closures, mask mandates, and/or draconian lockdowns,” wrote independent investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel for the Brownstone Institute.

“And it all happened under the leadership of a man who the corporate media and ruling class have taken to labeling ‘DeathSantis’ for his refusal to implement draconian COVID policies, such as mandatory masks, pharmaceutical injection mandates, business closures, and the like,” Schachtel added.

According to a New York Times interactive map and case count of COVID-19 reported cases in the U.S., Florida saw a 45.5% decrease in reported cases over the past 14 days.

The data shows that Florida, which has been chastised by Democrat politicians and legacy media outlets for its laws protecting Floridians’ freedoms from coercive vaccine mandates, forced masking, and lockdowns, has seen the second-largest drop in COVID cases in the country, trailing only Hawaii, which has seen a 50 percent drop in reported cases in the last two weeks.

According to the data, Florida, the nation’s third-most populous state, has an average of 2,357 COVID-19 cases per day, compared to 5,501 in California, which is heavily regulated. According to the statistics, Floridians have 11 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, while California has 14 per 100,000.

Despite nearly equal vaccination rates in Florida and California (59 percent and 60 percent, respectively), the New York Times reports that Florida has experienced 120 daily deaths from the virus, while California has experienced just over 100.

While the cause of the disparity is unknown, it could be related to the fact that Florida, a popular retirement destination, has the country’s second-highest percentage of elderly residents, with 20.5 percent of the population aged 65 and older out of a total population of 21.5 million, while California ranks 45th in the union with 14.5 percent of its total population of 39.5 million in the 65 and over category.

Furthermore, studies have shown that even the weather can play a significant role in the transmission of any respiratory disease.

As Floridians battled high humidity, tropical storms, and scorching temperatures this summer, many residents sought shelter indoors, where respiratory transmission rates are known to be higher.

Over the past few months, states with milder summer climates saw lower transmission rates, indicating that more people are enjoying the outdoors. However, as cold weather sweeps through northern and midwestern states, infection rates are already beginning to rise, indicating that cyclical weather patterns, rather than coercive mandates and restrictions, have a more measurable impact on infection rates.