Two months ago, Florida led the nation in COVID-19 positivity rates and per capita hospitalizations and deaths. Now, the state has the nation’s lowest positivity and death rates.

Gov. Ron DeSantis attributes the turnaround – part of a sustained nationwide trend – to the state’s aggressive vaccination outreach, creation of monoclonal treatment centers and its “data-driven approach free of mandates.”

Most public health officials, however, say the pandemic’s wane across much of the country, especially in areas such as Florida that saw significant summer surges, is following an increasingly familiar two-month cycle and has nothing to do with government policies, one way or another.