Finally, on April 1, 2020, the GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a sweeping ‘stay at home’ order for the entire state of Florida to limit the spread of the US coronavirus COV-19 pandemic.
This occurred after almost 2 months of intense pressure by constituents from all walks of life, for him to take this drastic step, after he had not seen fit to close down Florida beaches which were wall to wall bodies of young peoples celebrating “Spring Break” during the month of March 2020.
The State of Florida is blessed with almost 20% of its population being over 65 years old and who are also the most susceptible to suffering serious consequences from this pandemic
(Governor Ron DeSantis said) “I’m gonna be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or to conduct essential activities.”
Those “essential activities” include going to the grocery store, gas station, health care facilities, pharmacies, child care centers, and more.
“The order, which will start Thursday (4/2/2020) at midnight, will be in effect for at least the next 30 days, DeSantis said.”
Prior to 4/1, the Florida governor, an ardent sycophant of the republican President Donald J. Trump, had resisted any and all attempts to pressure him into implementing a state-wide ‘stay at home’ order. It was other local officials who imposed any restrictions despite the governor’s stubborn intransigence.
Here’s the rest of the story…
As per the 4/1/2020 Washington Post report by Fred Barbash, “Florida covid-19 cases surge to nearly 7,000 as Ron DeSantis resists statewide restrictions
Indeed, on the covid-19 nationwide map maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Florida just turned dark brown, the color signifying more than 5,000 cases. It’s now in the company of California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey as of Monday 3/30/2020, the cutoff of CDC map data with Louisiana having crossed the 5,000 threshold Tuesday 3/31/2020.
Of those states, however, Florida is the only one that is not under a statewide “stay-at-home” order. DeSantis has urged people in Southeast Florida to remain at home and said this week he would issue a “safer at home” order codifying that advice.”
“The headlines in Florida leave no doubt that the state has become a coronavirus hot spot. The number of people testing positive for covid-19 has accelerated rapidly, nearly doubling in the past four days, with 3,274 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 6,741 as of Tuesday evening.”
“The daily reports from the Florida Department of Health drive the fact home.”
“I’m in contact” with the White House coronavirus task force, he said at a news conference, “and I’ve said, ‘Are you recommending this?’ The task force has not recommended that to me,” he added. “If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y or Z, of course, we’re going to consider it.”
“DeSantis made his comment at a news conference where reporters were allowed to sit six feet apart for the first time. Previously, he had briefed reporters crammed into a small room despite requests on March 20 from the state’s largest newspapers.”
“DeSantis’s approach to the pandemic has attracted criticism since at least mid-March, when he said it was up to local governments, rather than him, to mandate closing of beaches filled with spring breakers.”
“DeSantis again pleaded powerlessness at his news conference and wondered how useful orders would be. For example, he said he had closed some beaches at the request of local officials and people were gathering on them anyway.”
“I was flying out of Miami yesterday,” he said, “looking at beaches with signs saying they were closed.”
“… It’s just unfortunate,” he said, “but no matter what you do you’re going to have a class of folks who are going to do whatever they want to.”
“He also suggested Floridians didn’t need public health mandates because most were doing the right thing without them, in part because there just wasn’t much to do. “Everything’s pretty much closed,” he said. “It’s not like there’s anything to do.”
“DeSantis attracted national attention when he set up checkpoints to screen travelers from Louisiana and NY for the infection, saying any he found would be ordered into quarantine for 14 days.”