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‘This pandemic is over’: House Speaker José Oliva calls for end to ‘economic suicide’

Oliva links to incendiary article.

House Speaker José Oliva believes that the state is ready to move forward from coronavirus.

The Speaker’s daily COVID-19 update email, sent Saturday, offered the latest evidence, just hours after Florida passed 30,000 confirmed cases and 4,800 hospitalizations from the novel coronavirus.

In the email, Oliva, a conservative with a strong libertarian bent, prominently linked to an opinion article entitled “The Pandemic Is Over.”

Hot quotes abound in the piece, which seemingly reflects Oliva’s position on the subject.

“Let’s stop the economic suicide and get back to work,” the article from conservative essayist George Gilder contends.

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Gilder’s piece pulsates with purple prose, including describing politicians (presumably including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis) as having embarked on a “vandalistic lockdown of the economy.”

“Flattening the curve was always a fool’s errand that widened the damage,” Gilder writes. “President Trump had better take notice. He will soon own this gigantic botch of policy and leadership.”

For Oliva, a member of the Governor’s Re-Open Florida Task Force, this continues a theme of contrarian commentary dating back well before the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that have characterized life in Florida, and most of the world, for over a month now.

Even before the Legislative Session ended, Oliva expressed grave concern that the budget may have to be adjusted given drastic changes in the economy.

Oliva offered another cautionary social media comment in the “don’t let the cure be worse than the disease” vein on Mar. 21.

“At what point is the cure worse than the virus? We are all deeply concerned but should we all be deathly afraid?”

The Speaker has also raised concerns about the recent full-bore Keynesian expansion of the money supply, even as it looks likely to help bail Florida’s budget out.

Oliva took to Twitter to predict that the federal commitment, already at $2.2 trillion from the giveaway-laden CARES Act, will end in tears.

“The economy is shuttered, unemployment at historic highs but the stock market is having a great week. No amount of ‘forward-looking’ can account for this disparity. The financial sector is again the greatest beneficiary of this stimulus. This will not end well in the long run,” Oliva tweeted earlier this month.

Jobless claims continue to pile up.

More than half a million Floridians filed for unemployment last week, bringing total claims to 1.16 million since coronavirus precautions wrecked the economy last month.

Meanwhile, most Floridians who have filed wait for checks.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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