Slavitt said the virus was still very inconstant and "a little bit beyond our explanation."
"What we do know is that the more careful people are, the more they mask and social distance. And the quicker we vaccinate, the quicker it goes away and the less it spreads," Slavitt said, noting that variants make it harder to predict.
"As we all have learned … This is a virus that continues to surprise us. It’s very hard to predict. And all around the country, we’ve got to continue to do a better job, and I think we are, but we’re done yet."
California has appeared as one of the strictest states in the nation, with Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, closing businesses and schools. His administration said it was executing these guidelines based on counties’ ICU capacity.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has implemented a completely different method. Though he took similar steps to Newsom early on in the pandemic, he ultimately lifted statewide restrictions on the economy and obstructed law enforcement from fining people.
Despite their differences in policies, either state has shown similar COVID-19 trends – even considering the population diversity.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows California has recorded nearly 3.5 million COVID-19 cases in total, while Florida has reported almost a half of that, with 1.82 million.
California’s total number of COVID-19 cases as a percentage of the population is about 8.8%, while Florida’s is about 8.3%. Out of all of the people in California who have gotten COVID-19, about 1.35% have died, while in Florida, it’s about 1.57%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Over the past seven days, Florida has recorded 322 cases and 7.4 deaths per million people, while California has recorded 231 cases and 10.5 deaths per million people. In terms of hospitalizations, Florida has 218 per million people, while California has 244.
Newsom has forced more severe rules, most recently ordering a statewide lockdown mandate on Dec. 3 that lasted through the holiday season.
The order, which was lifted on Jan. 25, went as far as to ban outdoor dining, beauty services, and religious services.
In the Sunshine State, on the other hand, steps were taken to guarantee that businesses were kept open.
Gov. Ron DeSantis in September prevented local municipalities from implementing restrictions that would force restaurants and bars to operate at less than half-capacity.
DeSantis on Sunday argued that the state was “focused on lifting people up” while “lockdown states” are “putting people out of business.”