Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was shredded by officials in his own state for trying to parrot President Donald Trump’s “cure can’t be worse than the disease” approach to the coronavirus, Politico reported Tuesday.
While Spring Breakers flocked to beaches in Miami, the rest of the country was self-isolating. DeSantis did nothing to stop it.
President Donald Trump has passed the buck to governors, saying that they’re the ones who know best about what to do for their states. The problem, of course, being states border each other. So, when Florida refuses to shutdown beaches, visitors to the state bring the virus on vacation. Given the large retirement community in Florida, such a virus could decimate the residents in the state.
“It would be a very blunt instrument,” DeSantis said of a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday. He then suggested the situation was under control. “But if you look at Florida’s situation right now, this is not a virus that’s impacting every corner of the state.”
As a result of the inaction, Senate Democrats in the statehouse began working on their own efforts to usher in a shelter-in-place order.
“That is the dumbest sh*t I have heard in a long time,” said state Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens). “This is a day-by-day crisis. Italy damn near saw 1,000 people die in one day, and there are people proclaiming we got this and have it solved in 15 days?”
DeSantis only grew more defiant, Politico reported.
“On Monday, instead of buckling to political pressure to issue a shelter-in-place order, he said he would restrict visitors coming into the state from coronavirus hot spots including New York. And he’s now literally ignoring pleas from Florida Democrats to be more aggressive,” the report said.
There are nearly 20 states that have already issued some kind of stay-at-home order, while DeSantis has merely shut down parks, theaters, gyms and most businesses. He then begged Trump for a disaster declaration for his state.
“But he also has overtly pushed back against a broad shelter-in-place order,” Politico reported. “Instead, on Monday he announced that anyone flying from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to Florida would have to undergo a 14 day self-quarantine, an announcement that drew criticism from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said it was not the ‘most enlightened approach.’”
“When you are ordering people to shelter in place, you are consigning probably hundreds-of-thousands of Floridians to lose their jobs,” DeSantis ranted Monday. “You are throwing their lives into potential disarray.”
It’s one of the main reasons that the Congress has been working on a massive stimulus package to help save those workers from going bankrupt while sheltering in place.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried begged DeSantis to consider a shelter-in-place order, but said that DeSantis is refusing to return her phone calls.
“I tried to reach out a few times last week through the chief of staff just to kind of hear what their experts were telling them,” Fried told Politico. “Kind of like ‘talk to me, give me updates,’ but also because the Department of Agriculture has a huge responsibly in this. We need to make sure the state is fed.”
She went on to say she hoped that there would be more communication for officials from the governor’s office. She also made excuses for him that it’s a difficult time and he’s facing a tough crisis.
DeSantis’ office said the Cabinet liaison is “in frequent communication with all offices.”
“I don’t know that I would say the governor has been the worst at this, I’m not saying ‘we are all going to die due to Ron DeSantis,’ and I don’t think that is what Nikki or Terrie Rizzo are saying either,” Sen. Braynon said. “This is ideologically-driven based on things we think should be done to keep people save.”