Trump has historically downplayed the coronavirus threat and repeatedly predicted economic renewal only to see Covid-19 cases rise along with hospitalizations and deaths in various parts of the country. This spring, DeSantis was similarly angry with its critics for predicting a wave of coronavirus cases would overtake Florida under his leadership, only to see cases, hospitalizations, and deaths after the state reopened in early June.
A DeSantis spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Epidemiologists and Democrats predicted this would happen again, especially if the president held large rallies without people wearing masks and a governor was determined to quickly open the state. Whether cases will skyrocket like they did in July, however, largely depends on whether individuals have the privilege of maintaining adequate social distance and wearing masks.
On the day DeSantis made its announcement, the state reported 2,847 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 120 deaths. Total cases since March 1: 695,887. Total deaths: 14,038.
Even if cases do crop up, the “very likely” that cases will not show up in a significant way before Election Day, said Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida, “especially if they start with people less at risk and then extend for the weaker from the weaker. ”
Florida started reopening slowly earlier this month, but DeSantis’ decision on Friday accelerated it at warp speeds. It also has blind Republican allies like Carlos Gimenez, a congressional candidate and mayor of Miami-Dade, the most populous county in the state and home to most of the coronavirus cases in the state.
Miami-Dade used to have a statewide ordinance on wearing masks and fines for giving him teeth. This precaution has been blocked by DeSantis.
Gimenez said the county can still impose restrictions but must keep shops and bars open and they could be subject to some regulations. Miami-Dade’s 11 p.m. curfew may also remain in place, said Gimenez, who admitted some concerns.
“Of course I’m concerned,” said Gimenez, while staying away from criticism of DeSantis.
DeSantis was only able to stop local governments from collecting the fines because the governor did not reverse his state of emergency order, which gave him extraordinary powers. The state is technically in an emergency due to the coronavirus – an order that remains in place despite Trump and DeSantis rhetoric so that the governor can prevent local governments from responding to that emergency.
Florida Democratic Party leader Terri Rizzo accused Trump and DeSantis of ignoring science, delivering bad news during a pandemic, and directing an “unqualified catastrophe”.
“We all really want things to go back to normal, but that can’t happen unless DeSantis and Trump plan to get us out of this public health crisis,” said Rizzo.