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Thanks to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state of Florida is free at last, and the “ignorant” critics who have a problem with this can pound sound.
During a coronavirus briefing Friday, the governor announced that he’s dropping all of the state’s remaining major coronavirus restrictions on businesses and instituting a ban that’ll prevent local officials from ever shutting down a business again.
Set to take effect immediately, the order forbids local officials from shuttering businesses or fining residents for not wearing a mask and social distancing.
“We are today moving into what we initially called phase 3, and what that’ll mean for the restaurants is there will not be limitations from the state of Florida. We’re also saying in the state of Florida everybody has a right to work,” DeSantis said.
“Every business has the right to operate. If some of the locals may be able to, they can do reasonable regulations, but you can’t just say, ‘no.’ You can’t say, ‘no’ after six months and just have people just twisting in the wind.”
Listen to the full presser below:
What the order means for Florida residents tangibly speaking is that …
Bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers can reopen at full capacity, though they should still “maintain adequate sanitation practices” and “limited social distancing.”
Movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys, arcades, playhouses, and casinos can reopen fully, though they too should still maintain sanitation and practice limited social distancing.
State parks and public beaches will be fully reopened.
Sporting events are encouraged to consider “reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols.”
Theme parks “may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.”
Read the guidelines starting from page 27 of the document below:
The governor justified the rollback of restrictions by pointing to a decline in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
On Thursday, only 2,847 cases were reported, a large drop from the high of 15,300 cases reported on July 12th.
DeSantis promised Friday that no matter what happens, the state’s residents won’t have to contend with another shutdown.
“If we see an increase, we’re not closing anything going forward. But I think if you look at our hospital capacity, if you look at what we did to marshal the latest medications, if you look at what we’ve done to help with all the [personal protective equipment] and the testing and everything, you know, we have the tools in place that we need,” he said.
Immediately following the governor’s announcement, the wailing and gnashing of teeth from what have been described as “lockdown Karens” began.
Among the critics was CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, who complained about the governor making “all the wrong sort of decisions as far as actually trying to bring this pandemic under control.”
Speaking later that evening on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” DeSantis clapped back at the “ignorant” criticism.
He noted that his latest announcement is, when you look at the greater picture, a very small move, given as the state has already been mostly open.
“I think a lot of them are ignorant about Florida. I mean, we never closed down. Over the summer he was talking about the Sun Belt spike. We actually had of course beaches, theme parks, retail operating at 100 percent. We had sports and summer camps over the summer. We have over 1.1 million students in face-to-face instruction for K-12,” he said.
“We have college students that are on campus. We’ve had big events such as NFL with fans, college football with fans. We had a NASCAR race with 30,000 people. So we’ve been open. The final kind of piece to the puzzle was this capacity limitation on the restaurants at 50 percent, and so that was the announcement today.”
Plus, the governor added, personal responsibility matters.
“We have to have a situation where individuals can make decisions about what makes sense for them, and if that’s something you’re not comfortable doing, no one’s gonna force you to do it. But I do think that people need to be free to choose,” he said.
Some of the criticism has come from individuals within Florida itself — namely liberal Democrat individuals like Rep. Donna Shalala.
“He’s just not paying attention to the science. His advisors are not scientists. He’s putting the people of Florida at risk,” she reportedly claimed without evidence.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, also a Democrat, accused DeSantis of trying to please President Donald Trump.
“My county has had the second most number of COVID infections in the country. So, we are a hot spot. The truth is, this is pretty obvious this was a political decision,” he said.
It wasn’t clear whether the president had remarked on the reopening as of Saturday morning. However, members of the restaurant industry certainly had.
“You just created a lot more jobs,” Dannette Lynch of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Suncoast Chapter had reportedly said.
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