WSJ columnist encourages college students to come to Florida for Spring Break despite COVID
The "Spring Break" held by US colleges and universities is peak season for Miami Beach, and tourists still flocked to the sand ignoring the new coronavirus pandemic (Photo: AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

On Monday, writing for The Wall Street Journal opinion page, Dave Seminara urged college students to "come back to Florida" and flout COVID-19 safety recommendations.

"Much of the spring-break travel scare revolves around the effort to discredit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose less restrictive approach to the pandemic has worked, infuriating Democrats," wrote Seminara. "Perhaps some of his critics perversely hope that a calamitous outbreak here will give them a chance to blame Florida, the state progressives love to loathe."

Cases in Florida are falling as vaccination rates climb, although DeSantis has come under fire as vaccines have been distributed to communities with his donors.

"Shutting down tourism, as [CDC Director Rochelle] Walensky would prefer, would be disastrous for many states, especially Florida," wrote Seminara. "Tourism generated $13.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.4 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2017, according to Rockport Analytics, and the industry supports more than 1.5 million jobs in the state ... Some students will behave irresponsibly on spring break. But the answer isn't to punish everyone. Heavy-handed efforts to limit personal freedom based on the assumption that too many people are ignorant is elitist."

Seminara's plea comes after 120 unruly spring breakers were arrested in Miami Beach, after partiers turned on police in a clash that uncovered guns and drugs. It also comes as the UK COVID-19 variant spreads across Florida — something experts aren't entirely sure our current vaccines will be able to contain, although so far they appear to be effective.