Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Florida has successfully flattened the coronavirus curve and will be working with a coalition of southeastern state governors on reopening the state as his newly assembled task force begins to discuss ways to revitalize the economy.
DeSantis, who is allowing the state’s stay-at-home order to expire April 30, said on Tuesday the dire predictions never materialized in Florida and residents had successfully flattened the curve.
“Those predictions have been false,” DeSantis said. “Our work is succeeding. We have flattened the curve.”
The governor said officials now know they are not in a position where hospitals will be overwhelmed.
“We know the No. 1 thing that people were concerned about with this was that that type of catastrophe, that’s not going to happen,” DeSantis said. “That’s not happened. We have all these extra beds and field hospitals and nobody’s there.”
DeSantis said it is just as important for the public to have confidence and assembled a task force comprised of elected leaders and business officials to help craft the plan to safely and successfully reopen the Sunshine State in a way that instills confidence in Florida residents.
Florida Chamber of Commerce Chairman and CEO Mark Wilson was introduced as chairman of the group, the state’s Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, Surgeon General Scott Rivkees and Secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration Mary Mayhew were also on the call.
The 22-member executive group includes one professional from the medical community, Tampa General Hospital CEO John Couris. It also includes the mayors of Florida’s three counties hardest hit by coronavirus, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward.
Executives from companies with a large footprint in Florida including Publix, Lockheed Martin, Disney and Universal will also serve on the task force.
Florida cabinet members CFO Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody were selected to be on the task force. Notably Department of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only democrat on the cabinet, is not on the task force.
DeSantis stressed that he wants the plan to lead Florida in “resurging back to where we all want to be.”
DeSantis’s communications director Helen Aguirre Ferré, citing the governor’s Tuesday appearance on Fox & Friends, confirmed Florida “is working in coalition with regional southeastern state governors, TN, MS, SC, GA, AL to safely re-open as well as working regionally within Florida to make sure we thread the needle properly”:
.@GovRonDeSantis on @foxandfriends: Florida is working in coalition with regional southeastern state governors, TN, MS, SC, GA, AL to safely re-open as well as working regionally within Florida to make sure we thread the needle properly.
— Helen Aguirre Ferré (@helenaguirrefer) April 21, 2020
“We have had a meeting with all the Southeastern governors — Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee,” DeSantis said during his appearance. “And we shared a lot of ideas. I think we will be the same page on some stuff.”