Florida newspaper publishes scathing editorial slamming 'meek' GOP Gov. DeSantis for failing miserably during coronavirus pandemic

Florida newspaper publishes scathing editorial slamming 'meek' GOP Gov. DeSantis for failing miserably during coronavirus pandemic
Governor Ron DeSantis Screengrab

Florida has a right-wing Republican governor (Ron DeSantis), and Ohio has a right-wing Republican governor (Mike DeWine). But a daily newspaper in DeSantis’ home state, the Orlando Sentinel, is asserting that there is a key difference between the two: DeWine has shown actual leadership in his state during the coronavirus pandemic.

Headlined “GOP’s Mike DeWine, Not Ron Desantis, Is the Kind of Governor Florida Needs in This Crisis,” a scathing editorial written by the Sentinel’s editorial doesn’t mince words: the editorial stresses that DeSantis, unlike DeWine, has let his state down badly.

“Ohio’s DeWine has been resolute, decisive and serious,” the editorial asserts. “DeSantis has been meek, unsure and flippant. DeWine has led from the front, DeSantis from behind.”

DeSantis, a Trump loyalist, finally issued a statewide stay-at-home order for Florida in early April. But for weeks, he was reluctant to do so. It was as though DeSantis was terrified of possibly offending Trump.

The Sentinel’s editorial notes that the “post-pandemic popularity of many governors is soaring because of their responses” — and that includes DeWine, who is “up by 35 points.” The Sentinel notes that DeSantis, however, “is down by 7.”

“This isn’t just about polls,” the Sentinel’s editorial board writes. “It’s also about public health outcomes. In one key category, Ohio has reported nearly 7000 coronavirus cases, or 60 cases for every 100,000 people. Florida has reported more than 20,000 cases, a rate of about 100 cases for every 100,000 people.

The editorial goes on to point out that while DeWine and DeSantis both declared a state of emergency on March 9, the Ohio governor was quicker to issue a stay-at-home order.

“DeWine issued an executive order, effective March 24, for people to stay at home except for essential trips,” the Sentinel explains. “DeSantis dawdled until April 3, relying on an ineffective patchwork of local government orders. Even then, DeSantis’ order has been confusing, not clarifying — with local officials in some cases unable to determine where and how it applies.”

On top of that, the Sentinel adds, DeSantis “gave Florida a meme-worthy moment by wearing a blue glove on one hand while touching his face with other, ungloved hand.”

“It isn’t too late for DeSantis to show he can do better,” the Sentinel emphasizes. “He could start by following the example of his counterpart in Columbus.”

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