Today, the Miami Herald reported how Governor Ron DeSantis can’t even be bothered to call the mayors of Miami Dade back– highlighting just how uninterested Governor Ron DeSantis is in dealing with the pandemic and actually helping Floridians.
In response, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:
“First Governor DeSantis prevented Mayors from being able to appropriately respond to COVID-19 on their own, now he won’t even answer their calls. This is unacceptable. Cases are rising and our Mayors are on the front lines. To save lives the Governor needs to stop ducking calls and address this crisis.”
Joey Flechas, Samantha J. Gross, Martin Vassolo, and Douglas Hanks | December 17, 2020
Recent weeks saw city and county leaders confirm publicly they’ve been unable to talk to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who in September intervened in local COVID-19 responses by barring local governments from closing businesses or enforcing COVID-19 fines.
Mayors from some of South Florida’s largest communities want more local control over rules meant to combat the spread of COVID-19, including limiting business activity and issuing collectible fines for people who don’t wear masks in public.
Stricter regulations can curb the spread of the virus, especially during a deadly holiday spike. But so far, Miami-Dade leaders have not been able to say this directly to DeSantis.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and others have called on DeSantis to allow mask mandates to be enforced. The Miami-Dade League of Cities tasked Suarez, the Republican mayor of the county’s largest city, to make the case for more local control. The governor hasn’t responded to meeting requests.
Meanwhile, the state health department is reporting about 2,000 new infections in Miami-Dade County a day, and about 100 people are hospitalized per day. The numbers are matching totals last seen during the summer COVID surge.
If he had the chance, Suarez said he would present DeSantis with analysis by Florida International University public health experts that shows positive COVID-19 cases decreased within a month of Miami’s mandating masks in public over the summer.
The conclusion mirrors advice from the White House task force, which sent DeSantis a report urging the state to at least limit indoor dining, lower capacity in bars and issue stronger policies around wearing masks.