Gov. Ron DeSantis, in remarks to the media Wednesday, extolled the city of Jacksonville as only he could do.
“For those who would say you’re morons,” DeSantis said, “I’d take you any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
Crowds, a subject of considerable debate among people on social media, thinned out as the weekend blurred into the week.
DeSantis, pushing to return the state to normalcy after a spring typified by coronavirus shutdowns, clearly has come to see Jacksonville as a validation of his approach, which has struck a middle ground between more coercive measures in blue states and more relaxed approaches to precautions in red states.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who endorsed DeSantis ahead of the 2018 Republican primary, has been more closely co-branded with the Governor of late and was added to the statewide task force to reopen the economy.
Curry spoke to leaders around the state Wednesday about the challenges of reopening public spaces, such as beaches.
″Make sure you have a presence — just the presence of police, fire and rescue. People want to behave responsibly, sometimes you just have to remind them not to congregate, stop or get in compact spaces,” Curry said, according to WJXT.
“Just think it through. When you open. People have been in their homes now for weeks so you’re going to get a lot of people the moment it opens trying to get access. So you have to figure out locally how to manage that.”
Curry and DeSantis have repeatedly trumpeted “flattening the curve,” and with Jacksonville trending toward 5% positive testing rates, and short lines, at least sometimes, at the state testing facility at Lot J, there is potential for optimism.
Jacksonville has been celebrated on the national level also, as DeSantis noted previously.
On Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force gave an attaboy to Florida and Jacksonville for coronavirus response.
Birx noted that Jacksonville was well-positioned for opening the beaches.
“Most of the cases are in southern Florida,” Birx said. “If you look at Jacksonville they had less than 20 cases a day.”