Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is subject to criticism. He really dithered on issuing stay-at-home orders. He finally put southern Florida on lockdown, which then expanded statewide. That was inevitable. There are now over 21,000 cases in Florida, which was greatly exacerbated by the slow response regarding spring breakers. The beaches should have been shut down. In fact, most of the state should have been put under lockdown. It wasn’t. Now, we have stories about parks being opened for food trucks. Social distancing is working, and it’s also the only defense we have against this virus until we have a vaccine. To make things worse, DeSantis is mulling re-opening the schools in Florida (via NBC Miami):
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism from teachers after claiming the coronavirus does not pose as serious a threat to kids and suggesting Florida schools could reopen as early as May.
"This particular pandemic is one where, I don't think nationwide there's been a single fatality under 25. For whatever reason it just doesn't seem to threaten, you know, kids," the governor said at a roundtable discussion on Thursday.
On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that four people between the ages of 15 and 24 and one person between the ages of one and four have died. Cases of coronavirus-related infant deaths are also being investigated in Illinois and Connecticut.
"If you're younger, it just hasn't had an impact, so that should factor into how we're viewing this. I think the data on that has been 100 percent consistent," DeSantis continued.
He suggested that a possible reopening of schools could be accomplished in two-week increments, and noted that some districts in more affected areas would need to remain closed.
No. Bad move, sir. For starters, again, it’s the asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms that we should worry about because they spread this disease like a brushfire. And yes, kids can get infected, they just don't get as sick, though some have contracted it and died. That's a good and bad thing, but if containing the spread is your goal, which it is, then reopening schools isn't the right decision. One person carrying the virus can infect up to two or more people. This is why social distancing was put in place. COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up the three days. And no one is immune. Young people can still get sick and die, and that’s already happened. This is madness to re-open schools right now. You slow the spread by staying home. And DeSantis, who enjoyed sky-high approval ratings in February, including the support of 46 percent of Democrats, could see all of that goodwill vanish:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) scored high job approval ratings in a University of North Florida-First Coast News poll released this week, outperforming President Trump.
In the poll, 65 percent of Florida voters surveyed approved of the job DeSantis is doing as governor, while just 21 percent disapproved.
While the figure is down from DeSantis's October approval rating of 72 percent, he registered strong numbers among Republicans and independents, as well as some Democrats.
Eighty-five percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats approved of DeSantis.
“The governor’s job approval ratings are quite high,” Michael Binder, director of the university’s Public Opinion Research Lab, said in a statement. “The governor’s focus on issues that draw support from both parties, such as increased teacher pay and the environment, has garnered support from Democrats and Independents, while not alienating his Republican base.”
That right there are numbers that ensure a second term, but after DeSantis’ response to this viral outbreak, it could put the governor’s mansion in play. Either way, this is a bad move, governor. Don’t do it.
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