Coronavirus shutdowns ‘pointless’ and ‘criminal’, House Speaker José Oliva emails

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The Speaker is skeptical of shutdowns in the face of the pandemic.

As Florida weighs how to emerge from economic restrictions driven by COVID-19 caution, the state’s most powerful lawmaker says those shutdowns were “pointless” and “criminal.”

That’s the hardline message from House Speaker José Oliva, a Hialeah Republican who included it as part of a series of unattributed links and article excerpts at the bottom of an official email.

Oliva, a member of the Governor’s Re-Open Florida Task Force, led off the literature review portion of his Tuesday email with an editorial from the conservative religious journal First Things.

The claim: “the science increasingly shows that the measures we have taken in the last few weeks have been both harmful—with freedoms lost, money spent, livelihoods destroyed—and pointless.”

The First Things article, included without quotation or attribution, gets more provocative after the jump from the link.

“Our entire ruling class, which united behind catastrophism and the untested methods of mass shutdown, is implicated in the unfolding fiasco,” the editorial contends. “We’ve been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered. Ordinary people have been terrorized by death-infused propaganda designed to motivate obedience to the limits on free movement. We have been reduced to life as medical subjects in our condition of self-quarantine.”

An article from Seeking Alpha, also cut and pasted into the media review without quotation or criticism, advanced this narrative, suggesting criminal sanctions for a wide swath of policymakers.

“The initial predictions of deaths and hospital over-crowding were so far off the mark (i.e., way too high) as to be almost criminal … The mandate that hospitals should accept only covid patients was also criminal. Furthermore, the projected shortage of ventilators – a major factor driving the decision to shut down the economy in order to “flatten the curve”- was a criminal distraction,” the dispatch contends.

These articles, sent out under official letterhead and not that of a political committee, continue to link the Speaker’s Office with a vein of very explicit criticism of the kinds of policies Gov. Ron DeSantis has pursued since declaring a State of Emergency almost two months ago.

They continue a trend.

On Saturday, the Speaker included 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, decrying a “vandalistic lockdown of the economy.”

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?”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    April 28, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Patricia

      April 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      ‘Criminal’ and ‘Pointless’ … This comes from a man who used COVID-19 as an excuse as to why several proposed bills in legislation never got heard in the 2020 session…many of which would have bettered lives and been beneficial to Florida citizens in a number of ways…yet…he was ok with it then…Conveinent to his own agenda…now with death tolls increasing and lives being lost…all efforts of shutdowns to reduce death tolls are ‘criminal’ AND ‘pointless’??? Oliva…you are a sorry excuse for a human being. I feel very sorry for the people of your district…you have slapped alot of faces worrying about your rights…so it requires you to possibly have to go back and rebudget…do your job…the job taxpayers pay you to do which you are lousy at anyway…the only pointless thing to be discussed here is your blatant disregard for human life. You are truly a piece of garbage. Thank you for presenting your kind of shitty to the public with your opinion. I hope this puts an end to your political career.

  • Mel

    April 28, 2020 at 9:50 am

    That’s awfully presumptuous of him to think everyone feels the same as he does. Smh 🤦🏼‍♀️


    April 28, 2020 at 11:54 am

    You gotta be kiddin’ me! This GOP mook is a bigger dumbbell than Donnie Dimwit the Draft-Dodger! Probably has a complimentary membership to Mar-A-Lago! Yucko!

  • Sam

    April 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I guess we’ll just have to teach him to wear the ribbon…

  • Pedro

    April 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Jose Oliva you are pointless and crimminal. I can not believe you have been elected to hold an office in the state of Florida. Please vote this selfess, self serving consverative out of office.

  • Nate Greene

    April 28, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Nothing but a Left Wing haters commenting here.
    On this particular subject, Jose is 100% correct. And nothing -nothing that I have read in the last two months has changed my opinion.
    Sling all the mud you wish. But the facts are in his side.

    • FL Patriot

      April 29, 2020 at 10:12 am

      I agree. I was wondering WHEN an elected leader would have the moral courage and fortitude to buck the Federal narrative and stop the insanity. Thank you Speaker Olivia. Bravo!

      Is there some reason why the FL Legislature doesn’t have their own committee to gather the data which is out there (for more than a month) and present findings to the Governor what respected Epidemiologists and doctors are saying? Data is in, highest risk is in NY with a 0.1 percent chance of death. For that we destroy the FL and US economy?

      Data from CDC from 2017 forward shows Coronavirus 19 more contagious and with a respiratory component but is not as lethal as the seasonal flu which kills between 24K and 62K nationwide.

      Hair salons and barbers not essential but hotel rooms are?

      How does that give Florida residents relief from quarantine? Dining with restaurant staff with masks on? Absurd.

      Have US leaders not grasped the proven data between no lock down Sweden and lockdown Norway? Statistically irrelevant.

      Special precautions for 3 counties in SFL and ALFs are needed and open the state of Florida now.

      FL Legislature must pass laws in the next session to make sure no lockdown like this happens again.

  • Andrew Nappi

    April 28, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Where was Oliva’s concern for rights when he sponsored red flag law and gun control in the FL HOUSE in 2018? Where was his concern for due process? Oliva has been called “libertarian leaning” by this
    publication. I am libertarian. Oliva isn’t leaning anywhere close to me.
    While I agree with him on this issue his hypocrisy undercuts his words.

  • Harold Finch

    April 29, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    OMG what a Buffon!! Including former Speakers Dean Cannon, Richard Corcoran and now Oliva, are three of the worst Speakers in modern era Florida.

Comments are closed.


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