According to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Health, 88,219 Florida residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started in early 2020.
That was up from 87,141 COVID-19 deaths reported on March 20, 2023. Because of lags in reporting, it is unclear when the additional deaths occurred.
Here are death totals by age group and gender:
- Under age 16: 53
- Ages 16 to 29: 534
- Ages 30 to 39: 1,428
- Ages 40 to 49: 3,337
- Ages 50 to 59: 7,896
- Ages 60 to 64: 6,737
- Ages 65 or older: 68,234
- Females: 39,200
- Males: 49,018
- Unknown gender: 1
The origins of COVID-19 are still under investigation, but there are two main hypotheses.
Natural spillover: This hypothesis suggests that the virus originated in animals and then spread to humans. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, has been identified as a possible source of the virus, as it sold a variety of wild animals that are known to be hosts of coronaviruses.
Laboratory leak: This hypothesis suggests that the virus was accidentally released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is located in Wuhan and has been conducting research on bat coronaviruses.
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President Joe Biden’s administration holds conflicting views on the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans may soon learn why that is.
In March, after more than a week of deliberation, Biden signed a bill declassifying the government’s intelligence about what may have caused the pandemic, including whether it emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Congress sent the bill to Biden on March 10 in one of the rarest moves for lawmakers in recent years. The controversial bill passed both houses unanimously.
Republicans have long called for releasing such info as part of helping the public understand whether COVID is man-made or naturally occurring, as the Chinese government and federal and international health agencies have claimed. Liberals have asserted that the lab-leak claim is both disinformation and discredited.
The Energy Department joined the FBI as the second agency under Biden to accept the lab-leak scenario as the most plausible. Four other agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stick to the idea that COVID jumped species from bats sold in a Wuhan wet market.
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But the left’s narrative dies hard.
Congress unanimously agreed to call for releasing the government’s secrets on the issue, The Atlantic published a story claiming that the “strongest evidence yet” indicated that the virus spread among humans from a “raccoon dog,” a wild animal in China that is canine in nature but bears the head and markings of a raccoon.
While mainstream media eagerly propped up this previously unheard-of theory, the claim was rejected by a group of scientists who looked at the findings. The London Telegraph reported that those researchers called the proof of the raccoon-dog theory “risibly thin” and added that it revealed “no substantive new information” about the virus’s origins.
However, Biden, known for his falsehoods and hiding the truth, does not have to be all that forthcoming, despite the universal vote in Congress for transparency.
The Washington Times reports that the measure Biden signed “requires Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify and report to Congress within 90 days on possible ties between the virus and the lab in Wuhan,” but it also says “intelligence officials are not required to release information that could compromise sources or methods.”
In a statement, Biden said he will “declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security.”
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