Gov. Ron DeSantis is missing a chance to become a true leader. He looks like he wants to be a leader but then he takes a pass and that could cost him in the future.
Let me begin for the fourth column asking Gov. DeSantis to issue a statewide mask-wearing mandate. A mandate that comes with fines.
GOP governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas all had enacted a statewide mandate to wear a mask.
Gov. DeSantis is once again playing a short game and not learning of the importance of the long game. If he had a statewide mandatory mask law in place with fines then the entire state would see that he takes the spread throughout the state as seriously as he should have.
I would love to see Gov. DeSantis call an SEC Summit where could coordinate their efforts to share resources and help track possible COVID 19 “Hot Spots.” This has been done during hurricane season and has saved countless lives while at the same building trust between the states from Florida to Texas.
No state in the entire United States has more out of state visitors. Without date from visiting states, without and sharing of contact tracing information Florida is unknowingly being under attack from neighboring states.
Lastly, let’s talk about schools opening in just a few short weeks. First off stop with when it comes to COVID 19 the kids really aren’t a health risk. Tell that to over 31,000 children in the state who have tested positive for the virus.
I will give Gov. DeSantis some credit for backing off his let’s get everyone back in the classroom stance. He has shown a bit more common sense by saying that the reopening decisions are the “choice” of individual schools.
“I believe we owe every parent a choice to send your children back to school for in-person instruction or to opt to maintain distance learning,” DeSantis said. “The evidence that schools can open in a safe way is overwhelming, yet I also understand the apprehension that some parents may feel, and I believe in empowering them with a choice. “No parent should be required to send their children to in-person instruction if they don’t want to,” he added.
A new study done by the CDC shows that cases among children have soared 34% in just the past eight days. That means the last week has seen about 1,000 new cases among children each day.
As of today, there are a bit over 300 children in Florida with a single day coming Monday with 50. Martian County which is of course north of the South Florida “danger zone,” checks in with 25 percent of the states school-age children having COVID 19.
Gov. DeSantis is also coming under fire from the Sunshine State’s teachers union. According to an Associated Press report lawsuit filed Monday by the state’s largest teachers’ union, the Florida Education Association (FEA), suggests otherwise. The group blasted DeSantis and other state officials for “arbitrary and capricious demands” that schools reopen.
“@GovRonDeSantis didn’t say anything new today,” tweeted FEA President Fedrick Ingram after the governor’s briefing. “The five minutes he spent offering flawed reassurances would’ve been better spent working on coming up with a plan to protect Florida students and educators.”
Gov. DeSantis did say that he was sympathetic to the teacher’s concerns. Issuing the following response.
“Let’s just find a way to make do,” said DeSantis. “And if a school district needs to delay the school year for a few weeks so that everything will be in good shape, have at it. The important thing is that our parents have a meaningful choice when it comes to in-person education.”
So, with time running out will Gov. DeSantis take that leadership role? Only he can answer that question.