Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) began this week by holding a press conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, discussing COVID-19 in the Sunshine State and also announcing an executive order that would lift the local and state COVID restrictions. DeSantis said that “in the state of Florida, we worked very hard, particularly since the Summer to jettison those types of policies and we focused on lifting people up,” the Governor was hopeful that this is the way to move forward. However, Florida Democrats across the country have disavowed the Governor’s decision. From Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, some Florida Mayors have expressed that they are “deeply concerned” by DeSantis’ COVID-19 decision to lift remaining restrictions.
In a statement released after the press conference Levin Cava shared that she was “deeply concerned by the Governor’s decision” because “we are still in a public health emergency and our economy has yet to fully rebound from this crisis.” “Fewer than have of our residents have been vaccinated, and we still face a growing threat from new variants,” she warned, adding that the community must “continue using common sense to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and most importantly, to get vaccinated” because “it’s our best and only path forward to putting this pandemic behind us.”
Finally, the Miami-Dade County Mayor asked for the Governor “to commit resources to helping to educate and persuade Floridians to get vaccinated, as we continue doing everything we can at the local level to make vaccines as accessible as possible and to motivate our community to take the shot.”
In contrast, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings shared his frustration with Governor DeSantis’ decision, calling it “a part of a larger partisan strategy by the Republican Party to usurp the authority of Democrat-led urban counties and cities across America.”
“We expect better from the governor of Florida,” Demings concluded.