Floridians believe that Gov. DeSantis is ‘shooting himself in the foot’ on COVID-19 and deeply regret listening to him

Floridians believe that Gov. DeSantis is ‘shooting himself in the foot’ on COVID-19 and deeply regret listening to him
Governor Ron DeSantis Screengrab

When it came to social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was nowhere near as thorough or comprehensive as other governors — for example, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, California’s Gavin Newsom and Maryland’s Larry Hogan. DeSantis was slow to enact social distancing restrictions in his state and was quick to ease them, and the number of coronavirus infections — according to Politico’s Marc Caputo and Florida’s  WJCT-TV — has been increasing in Florida since DeSantis started reopening the state. And Floridians who have tested positive for COVID-19 regret listening to the Republican governor.

Erika Crisp, a Jacksonville-based nurse, told Florida WJCT that on June 6, she went out to a local Irish bar, Lynch’s Pub, for drinks with 15 of her friends — and all 16 of them have been infected with coronavirus.

The 40-year-old Crisp asserted, “I think we were careless, and we went out into a public place when we should not have — and we were not wearing masks. I think we had a whole ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. The state opens back up and said everybody was fine; so, we took advantage of that.”

Crisp stressed, “We should be wearing masks, we should be social distancing.  It was too soon to open everything back up.”

Dr. Aileen Marty, an expert on pandemics at Florida International University, told Politico, “(DeSantis is) shooting himself in the foot. (He is) so eager to open up the economy because we’re in a recession now. It is a horrible situation, but he thinks in downplaying the threat of the virus, that’s going to help the economy.”

Marty added, “It’s going to backfire because if people fail to understand how dangerous this particular virus is, they’re going to act in irresponsible ways.”

Marty is warning against large political gatherings that defy social distancing guidelines, telling Politico they are a “wonderful way to spread infection.”

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