DeSantis: Florida During COVID was like 'Living in a Different Country'

DeSantis: Florida During COVID was like 'Living in a Different Country'

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
April 1, 2024

During a press conference highlighted by the announcement of a second consecutive $450 million year of toll relief for Florida residents, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was pressed on the number of leaving and entering the state.

Despite reports of almost half a million people leaving in 2022, over one million moved to the Sunshine State, making it net positive.

Gov. DeSantis said there is a reason for this occurrence.

“The thing is, we’ve led in net migration. This has always been a transient state. People come and go. That’s normal. That’s what happens in all states. But our state in particular has always had that. But we led in net [migration], and so that means that there must be a reason why people are wanting to do that. So, for them (NBC News, article hyperlinked above) to try to focus on, acting like that there’s an exodus because it’s high. I just don’t know,” said Gov. DeSantis.

He continued by bringing up a hypothetical in which an individual was disappointed with not living near a beach despite buying a home far from Florida’s coast.

“It’s like, okay, someone buys a home in Orlando and says, ‘Well, I don’t have access to the beach that I thought I would.’ Yeah, you bought a house in the middle of the state. That’s just the way it works,” said DeSantis.

He continued to answer the question by showcasing how Florida’s approach to COVID-19 could’ve been enticing to some wanting to leave their home state for the Sunshine State.

“I think our policies have attracted folks. First, living in Florida during COVID was like living in a different country if you were coming from Illinois or New York or some of these places. And you know how I know? Because people that implemented some of those policies sent their families to live in Florida rather than live under their oppression. So that was true.”

Furthermore, DeSantis mentioned his administration’s effort to “empower parents” has pulled potential movers to Florida.

“I think how we’ve empowered parents on education has been really important. Parents want to know that their kids are going to get an education, that they’re going to have a say in the matter that they’re going to know what’s being taught, and that they have options to be able to find the best school,” said the Florida governor.

Finally, DeSantis noted rising crime statistics as a push factor from other states that has led Americans to choose Florida.

“Law and order and crime has been a big deal. Crime was in terrible shape – 2020, ’21, ’22. They’re saying now the statistics show around the country, it’s gone down. I don’t know if that’s true in some of those areas. But I also know that you do have an issue in kind of run-of-the-mill crimes. They don’t get reported as much in some of those areas. Like if you get mugged in LA, that’s not even a big deal to them. Of course, you’re not going to get prosecuted. Whereas here, we would take that seriously. But I absolutely think that the law and order commitment to public safety is a huge thing.

Gov. DeSantis is term-limited and on former President Donald Trump’s (R) short-list for Vice President.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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