Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) promised Floridians during Monday’s press briefing “we will never do any of these lockdowns again.”
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” DeSantis said during the briefing in Central Florida:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: "We will NEVER do any of these lockdowns again." pic.twitter.com/YxJh2nxiV3
— The Hill (@thehill) August 31, 2020
The peak of the pandemic is now behind the Sunshine State, the governor said, explaining the number of positive coronavirus patients hospitalized is “down nearly 60 percent statewide from our July peak.”
“We gained jobs, 74,000, I think, private-sector jobs in July. Just imagine if we had shut down the state, we would have lost another 3- 400,000 jobs. And so I think that we understand what we need to do,” DeSantis said, pointing to the places with the most “draconian” lockdowns, like Peru, as a contrast.
“Military enforced since March. They have the highest per capita mortality in the world from COVID. And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality. […] it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on,” he added.
DeSantis came under fire early for refusing to implement a stringent statewide lockdown order. While he eventually issued a “stay at home” order, his overall approach largely relied on localities to implement restrictions tailored to their communities. Even as pressure mounted for DeSantis to take further statewide action, like implementing a statewide mask mandate, he refused.
Florida reported 623,471 cumulative cases of the Chinese coronavirus and 11,187 resident fatalities as of Tuesday morning. Hospital bed availability stood at over 25 percent statewide as of Tuesday morning as well.