Officials baffled at Florida's reopening of beaches: 'So dumb I had to make sure it wasn’t fake news'

As Florida reached its deadliest week yet since the coronavirus emerged, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state's beaches would be reopening to cater to the needs of people who want to get outside.

“I think people, they’re gonna be responsible, they’re gonna be safe, but they want to get back into a routine,” DeSantis said Saturday.

As The Daily Beast's Emily Shugerman points out, Duval and St. Johns Counties, as well as the city of Mexico Beach, opened up on Friday for “essential activities” like running, fishing and surfing. Despite warnings from Duval County's mayor to maintain social distancing, hundreds of people flocked the county's beaches on Friday, many of them engaging in group sports like volleyball or spikeball.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has recovered from coronavirus, called the reopening in Jacksonville “very concerning,” adding that Florida was “not out of the woods yet” and the consequences of reopening too soon were “very, very scary.”

“When they talk about the curve flattening and the curve descending, we still have not seen a major descension, what we’re seeing is more of a plateau in the state of Florida,” he told MSNBC on Saturday. “And I’m concerned that if we’re not careful that we could see another flare up.”

“When a person doesn’t believe in science, they do dumb things,” Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Omari Hardy tweeted. “When a person in power doesn't believe in science, they do dumb things that hurt the public. This move is so dumb that I had to make sure it wasn’t fake news. You guys, it isn’t fake news.”

Florida's deadliest day yet was Tuesday when 72 people died of the virus within 24 hours.

Read more over at The Daily Beast.