(CALMATTERS) – Despite radically different coronavirus policies, California and Florida have the same case rate and nearly identical death rates, raising questions as to whether certain restrictions were necessary, the Associated Press reports.

Though Newsom defended his COVID strategy in a Tuesday interview on CNN by saying “we have lower death rates than the vast majority of states in this country, certainly much lower than places like Florida and Texas,” the Golden State’s death rate ranks 28th nationwide, just slightly lower than Florida’s 27th place. Meanwhile, Florida’s December unemployment rate was 5.1%, nearly half California’s 9.3%. And theme parks and schools have been open for months in Florida, whereas the vast majority of campuses in California remain far from full-time in-person instruction and the Disneyland resort in Anaheim plans to reopen on April 30. Florida has also vaccinated more residents per capita than California. Still, differences in the states’ geography, density and weather make direct comparisons difficult.

  • Patricia García, a Democrat who lives in Miami: “People here, they’ve been able to work. The kids have been able to go to school. We have this reputation in Florida of being all … crazyland. But I’d much rather be in Florida than California, New York or Chicago.”

By: Emily Hoeven | CALMatters