Miami Beach mayor slams Ron DeSantis for 'leading everybody off a cliff' as COVID-19 rages in Florida

Miami Beach mayor slams Ron DeSantis for 'leading everybody off a cliff' as COVID-19 rages in Florida

Although some anti-vaxxers have been slamming Ron DeSantis for urging Floridians to get vaccinated for COVID-19, the far-right Florida governor still isn't above using the pandemic to score cheap political points with the MAGA crowd — whether he is disparaging expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci or forbidding, by executive order, mask mandates in public schools. And some of the criticism of DeSantis is coming from Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who denounced his COVID-19 policies as "leading everybody off a cliff."

During a July 31 appearance on CNN, Gelber told host Ryan Nobles, "The governor has made it as difficult as possible to make people safe. He's like the pied piper leading everybody off a cliff right now by letting them know that they don't have to like the CDC, they don't have to wear masks — that they can do whatever they want when we're in the midst of an enormous pandemic."

Gelber's comments come a time when the highly infectious Delta variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus is raging in the Sunshine State. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five new cases of COVID-19 is in Florida. Worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, more than 4.2 million people have died from COVID-19.

Gelber noted that city officials are "trying to do everything we can to get around the governor's very wrong-headed desires," adding, "local Republican mayors are on the same side that I'm on; they want to save the lives of residents."

"We're not allowed to have mask mandates now," Gelber told Nobles. "We were one of the first cities to require it, and we charged a fine just to get people to do it. And the governor stopped allowing us to do it — and then immediately, we saw a surge across our county and state when he did that."

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