A leading Florida newspaper pleaded in an editorial for more action by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to battle COVID-19, reminding him: “We’re dying here.”
“With each passing day, COVID-19 continues to careen out of control in Florida,” said the Thursday editorial in the Sun Sentinel. “Your daily upbeat message is hopelessly at odds with what Floridians are going through. You make it sound like everything is headed in the right direction. But it’s not.”
Florida hit a record number of deaths from COVID-19 three days running this week, climbing from 191 deaths on Tuesday to the latest record of 253 deaths on Thursday. The state surpassed New York’s total number of cases last Saturday.
The editorial pleaded with DeSantis to issue a statewide mask requirement — which is already a regulation in 32 other states. A new Quinnipiac poll has found that 79% of Floridians support a mask requirement, including 60% of Republicans, the editorial noted. “If that’s not a mandate, what is?” the newspaper asked.
DeSantis was one of the last governors in the nation to lock down his state amid the COVID-19 crisis, and among the first to open it back up. A blistering article in The Washington Post revealed that DeSantis sidelined health experts as the disease ravaged his state, instead turning to the White House for marching orders on getting businesses back up and running despite the risks.
Florida’s record on addressing the pandemic is so abysmal that at least 12 states have “singled out Floridians for 14-day quarantines should we dare to fly north to escape the heat and whatever lurks in the air,” noted the Sun Sentinel.
“Who can blame them? Florida now boasts the second highest number of cases per 100,000 people, with 2,008,” it added. (New Jersey currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the nation.)
“Help us out, governor,” the editorial was headlined. “We’re dying here.”
It concluded: “The science is clear: Face coverings reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and can save lives. Issue a mask mandate, governor.”
DeSantis has not commented on the editorial, which can be read in its entirety here.
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