Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D) became the latest congressional Democrat to question Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' "leadership" after he stated that he was "opposed to mandates, period" and to any other "lockdowns" that he believes would adversely affect Florida's ailing.
"There is responsible and effective leadership, and then there is this," stated Rep. Murphy. " The Governor is essentially waving the white flag of surrender as this invisible enemy ravages our health and our economy. If we do not contain the virus, Florida’s economy will never return to normal."
During a live news conference in Orlando, Florida, Gov. DeSantis stated that there would be “no lockdowns, no fines, no school closures. No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate. Nobody’s losing their livelihood or their business.”
“That is totally off the table,” added Desantis
Murphy's questioning of DeSantis' "responsible and effective leadership" comes as COVID-19 cases in Florida have eclipsed the 1 million infection mark and the total death toll from the virus has reached 19,000.
Murphy joins prominent Democratic members of Florida's congressional caucus, Reps. Ted Deutch, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who have been expressing their distaste for the way DeSantis has responded to the pandemic since its onset, and who have all called for a statewide mask mandate.
DeSantis defended his mandate position by pointing to other states that have failed to stop the spread of the virus after imposing strict mask and lockdown mandates.
“How has that worked out in the states that have done it?” he said according to Orlando Sentinel. “Has that stopped an outbreak in Minnesota? Illinois? Michigan? What about New Jersey? What about all the states where you have an explosion in cases?... People in Florida wear them when [they] go out. They don’t have to be strung up by a bayonet to do it. Fining people is, I think, totally overboard.”
Last week, DeSantis announced that Florida was in a position to effectively deploy any of the newly-announced COVID vaccines once they come online and are delivered to the state.
There is responsible and effective leadership, and then there is this. The Governor is essentially waving the white flag of surrender as this invisible enemy ravages our health and our economy. If we do not contain the virus, Florida’s economy will never return to normal. https://t.co/ZPP67GVKbO
— Rep. Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) November 30, 2020