Task force on Florida ‘rebound and resurgence’ to return advice by week’s end

desantis, ron - at miami test site
The task force will start meeting Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ task force on reopening Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic will meet Monday and return its initial findings by the end of the week.

This week’s report will outline the state’s short-term response, the first of three stages the Governor has planned for Florida. The three-phased approach follows a template laid out by the White House Thursday.

“When you kind of think about these things — but then when you actually sit down and write down the number of things that we’ve got to be smart about, it’s going to be very helpful to have that I think,” DeSantis told reporters Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Governor first announced the task force and hoped to release the names of the team members and have the panel first meet by the end of the week. The team, he said later, would make recommendations on “pretty much everything under the sun.”

The task force members, now to be announced Monday, will include business and industry leaders and elected officials, which the Governor described as a “pretty good cross-section.” South Florida county Mayors will be on the team, as will House Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls and Senate President-Designate Wilton Simpson.

On Monday, the first scheduled day for the team to meet, the task force will begin teleconferencing and continue throughout the week. After returning its short-term findings on the “rebound and resurgence” of Florida, it will next explore the medium and long term.

“We want to see people back to work for the long haul, and we want to continue with Florida’s economic development strategy,” DeSantis said. “We’ve got a lot of great irons in the fire before this hit. We want to be able to get that back going forward.”

With the state seemingly over the hump of the coronavirus pandemic and recent actions taken to get Floridians unemployment benefits, the task force will address what the state’s society and economy look like until the discovery of a vaccine, possibly months or years away. Small businesses will be one of the main focuses of the task force.

“Obviously we’ve been focused so much on health and you see the unemployment and you see some of these other things, but these folks are seeing it on the ground up about what can we do to help get their communities back on their feet,” DeSantis said.

Agriculture and the restaurant industry will be other major topics of interest, as will theme parks and travel into Florida, specifically plane and cruise ship travel. But with cruise liners wanting to start operating again in June, the Governor called that goal a “source of friction” against the state’s interests.

Another task force beneath the main reopening task force will address the expansion of testing in the state. Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue, will lead that panel which will address how the private sector can assist the expansion of testing and testing equipment in the state.

While the Governor says he stands with Floridians who want him to reopen the state, he says he’s “working on it.” But while he stays busy leading the state’s coronavirus response and now weekly media appearances in South Florida, he said he sees the toll the recommendations to stay at home have had on people when he returns home to First Lady Casey DeSantis and their three children.

“I just see how it is to be inside and not be able to go every day in my own house,” he said. “I think people want to — they’re going to be responsible, they want to be safe — but I do think they want to get back into a routine.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


3 comments

  • Marlene

    April 18, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    “he sees the toll the recommendations to stay at home have had on people when he returns home to First Lady Casey DeSantis and their three children.”

    Do you mean when you go home to your fully staffed governor’s mansion?

    Are you freaking kidding? Step outside your entitled world and look around to see how real people are suffering to keep others alive, and how others are suffering and dying. You should be embarrassed. You’re certainly an embarrassment to those of us with any sense of morality and humanity.

    Follow your Dear Leader and the blood is on your hands.

    • Annie

      April 19, 2020 at 4:19 am

      Ohh my god. You make it sound like millions are dying…get a grip. The gov doing the best he can. If you can do better..hop on the ballot….or shut up. No blood on no one hands es other than the Chinese….get a grip or move out of florida. Open some of the restaurants. And control the 6 ft rule or close them up,,… easy to do. 6ft rule or you get shut down…
      Have spotters in each town. Lou feeds. I would be one for sure.
      Photos. and alll

      • Ed

        April 19, 2020 at 1:49 pm

        You sound like a good East German in 1980. Spy and report on your neighbors. Go to hell.

Comments are closed.


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