Governor DeSantis Receives Backlash For COVID-19 Response

Florida, like most other states, is experiencing a coronavirus crisis. According to CNN, warning signs of a coronavirus spike have been going off in the state this fall, and hospitalizations have continued to climb since last month.

And that’s not it. Test positivity rates have doubled since October, and the daily total of new cases is nearing Florida’s July peak. What’s problematic is how the state’s Governor Ron DeSantis is handling the situation.

The news outlet says many Floridians may have no clue how bad the pandemic is in their state because DeSantis and his administration just aren’t acting like it’s a threat.

The Florida Health Department‘s social media accounts have hardly mentioned the virus over the past months. Still, earlier this week, they chose to announce the arrival of the first batch of vaccines. Like President Trump, DeSantis is another public figure who has continued to downplay the novel virus’ severity. He has also denounced mask mandates and placing restrictions on businesses in the state by going as far as blocking local governments from enforcing their own coronavirus measures.

Two employees of the state’s health department told CNN that the agency’s former communications director told them to move away from COVID-19 when it comes to public announcements; both followed suit out of fear of losing their job.

“We’re putting politics in front of lives,” said one of the health officials, who asked not to be named to avoid retaliation. “We are being handcuffed and kept from keeping the public properly informed so they can make informed decisions to protect their lives and the lives of others.”

Many political Florida figures have voiced their frustration with Gov. DeSantis, especially his ban on local governments to enforce their own coronavirus measures.

Florida has seen over 1 million coronavirus cases. Still, DeSantis has adopted Donald Trump’s approach to the virus to form a sense of denial.

“I think this governor is absolutely following whatever the President says and does, and I think he thinks this is going to help him get elected,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, a Democrat. “It’s really quite remarkable, the lack of leadership.”

About Crystal Gross

A college graduate. Crystal is a paralegal working on her Masters Degree.

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