Florida Democrats beg Gov. Ron DeSantis to ignore the White House and issue stay-at-home order
Ron DeSantis (Photo: Screen capture)

More than a dozen Florida lawmakers called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to lock down the state to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned Americans that social distancing must continue for at least several more weeks to space out the number of cases so patients don't overwhelm hospitals, and 13 Democratic lawmakers asked DeSantis to issue a stay-at-home order, reported WFLA-TV.

“We appreciate your recent announcement that you will be issuing a 'safer-at-home' order for the southern portion of the state,” the letter reads. “However, given that there are over 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida, with the Department of Health reporting 523 new positive cases on Sunday, this order should be applied to the entire state immediately in order to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The letter was signed by Lois Frankel, Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Jr., Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Stephanie Murphy, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson.

“This pandemic has not respected global borders so it certainly will not respect county borders,” the letter adds. “We cannot wait, and we cannot leave this decision to county and municipal governments. We urge you to immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives.”

DeSantis has said he hasn't issued the statewide order because, at least in part, the White House hasn't advised it.

“I’m in contact with them, and, basically, I’ve said, ‘Are you guys recommending this?’” DeSantis said Tuesday. “The task force has not recommended that to me. Obviously, if they do, that is something that would carry a lot of weight with me.”

Medical experts have urged Americans to stay home because social distancing is crucial halting the spread of the virus.