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DeSantis says Florida’s pregnant first lady is keeping safe amid coronavirus crisis

The governor told reporters this week that she is “doing great” despite the fact that this is a “nerve-racking” time to be having a baby.
SCOTT KEELER | Times New Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gives the crowd the thumbs up as he holds his son Mason. Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis applauds, left, at the Old Capitol after DeSantis was sworn in, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]

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TALLAHASSEE — While Gov. Ron DeSantis has been holding constant news conferences and issuing a torrent of executive orders to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, he — along with every other Floridian — has his family’s health to consider.

Florida's first lady, Casey DeSantis, is pregnant with the couple's third child, which they announced in late September via a tweeted photo of their family holding an ultrasound image. It's unclear when her exact due date is, but she has not made a public appearance in weeks.

Earlier this week, Gov. DeSantis said that she is “doing great.”

“We had one child in the midst of an election for governor, 2018 in March, now we’re (in) 2020 in the midst of a pandemic so this one is a little bit more nerve-racking I think for her,” he joked to reporters shortly after giving a briefing at Florida’s emergency operations center. “Fortunately, she doesn’t have any health issues.”

Because coronavirus is a new virus, sweeping across the globe with alarming ferocity, there remains little research on how it affects different groups of people. One fact has become starkly clear: that those who are elderly or have underlying medical conditions are at a much more dire risk of getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website on coronavirus has little information to share about how it affects pregnant women. A post from the Harvard Medical School says that pregnant women appear to be “just as likely, or possibly more likely,” to develop symptoms if they become infected. It also states that the symptoms are likely to be “mild to moderate” as is the same for the entire age group of younger adults.

When it comes to changing procedures in hospitals, the New York Times reports that some are prohibiting new parents from bringing any visitors into areas where women give birth to prevent any possible exposure to the virus.

But the largest study of infected children to date found that while young children contract the virus at much lower rates than adults, a small percentage, especially babies and preschools, can still become very sick.

So as this pandemic continues, DeSantis said his wife is taking all necessary precautions.

"She's doing a lot to keep safe," he said.

Times/Herald staff writer Lawrence Mower contributed to this report.

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