FL Mayors Warn DeSantis Of “Dire Consequences”

The mayors of six cities are urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to take aggressive action to stop the sudden spread of COVID-19. | Screenshot: WPLG Local 10 via YouTube

Florida mayors held a virtual news conference Wednesday to push for a statewide mask mandate and more

Nov 19, 2020

Florida Politics – A cohort of mayors from the southern portion of the state is urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his hands-off approach to COVID-19 as infections continue to rise.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber led a virtual news conference Wednesday featuring four separate requests as local leaders begin bracing for a potential spike in hospitalizations.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández, Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan and Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar joined Gelber on the call.

“It’s unmistakably clear that Florida’s approach to managing this pandemic is failing pretty horribly,” Gelber said at the top of the call.

Gelber began by proposing a statewide mask mandate, as described in a letter the mayors are sending to DeSantis.

“Across the country, governors of every political stripe are doing it,” Gelber said. “They realize that it is clearly, at this point, one of the few things you can do that allows you to open up the economy in a way that protects the public and reduces the spread.”

Not only has DeSantis refused such a call, he has also blocked municipalities from enforcing regional mask mandates as the Governor has forced the state to reopen this fall. Gelber said DeSantis should reconsider those moves.

“The second thing is we’re asking the Governor to allow local governments to enact the kinds of remedial measures addressing local conditions, including enhanced mask enforcement.”

Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan also requires all businesses to open, subject to a limited number of restrictions from municipalities. The mayors’ letter asks for more leeway in those regulations, such as enforcing capacity limits and social distancing requirements.

Third, the mayors are pushing to restore state testing facilities to their fullest operation … Read more. 

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