Florida Democrats blast Gov. Ron DeSantis' handling of coronavirus pandemic

Ruben Hill
April 1, 2020

After days of mounting pressure as the coronavirus spreads in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday issued an executive order asking people to stay at home across the state.

DeSantis, a Republican, said the order would go into effect at midnight Thursday and excludes essential services, the NBC station in Miami reported.

The state's confirmed cases are approaching 7,000, with 86 deaths and nearly 900 people hospitalized, and an outbreak model cited at the White House shows exponential growth in the coming weeks.

Florida's partial stay-at-home order comes after DeSantis faced widespread backlash for the state's influx of spring break travelers crowding Miami-area beaches earlier this month.

In their letter to DeSantis, the congressional delegation said they "appreciate" that DeSantis issued a "safer-at-home" order for Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. "This pandemic has not respected global borders, so it certainly will not respect county borders".

DeSantis has defended his approach, saying businesses and workers in unaffected counties shouldn't be punished.

Counties in the Tampa Bay area and central Florida issued their own lockdown orders and Jacksonville announced Wednesday that it would join them on Friday.

A total of 71 people have died from the virus; an increase of eight people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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