Following Ron DeSantis’ lead, Lenny Curry ‘formally starts’ Jacksonville reopening
'Brothers from another mother': Lenny Curry endorses Ron DeSantis for Gov, 2018.

Lenny Curry Ron DeSantis
The two Republicans are aligned on reopening strategies.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry followed Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s lead in announcing plans to reopen Duval County.

Curry’s remarks, delayed from Wednesday to accommodate DeSantis’ announcement, showed little daylight from the Tallahassee position.

Mutual admiration between the two Republicans has been in full flower, with each praising the other repeatedly on live microphones. The only real difference: Whereas DeSantis has been almost Nixonian in his baiting of the press, Curry has stroked local media, thanking them for balanced coverage of once-controversial phenomena like reopening beaches.

Some familiar with administration thinking privately expressed frustration at times with communication from the Governor’s Office during this process. However, those frustrations should be seen in the context of Jacksonville being prioritized with testing sites and other state help that ultimately allowed Duval to flatten the curve to a degree that would be the envy of most major metro areas on the Eastern Seaboard.

Stylistic differences notwithstanding, DeSantis authorizing “baby steps” for the state allowed Curry to do so in Duval.

Curry lauded Jacksonville for “sacrifices and efforts to flatten the curve and avoid dire predictions” for the city. He lauded the Governor’s plan for reopening Florida, “the formal start” for reopening Jacksonville, but with a “long road ahead.”

Curry also rolled out a new drive-thru testing site.

“More than two dozen, with more to come,” Curry promised, with $35 million budgeted for those tests out of a pool of $159 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.

Curry also encouraged people to “be patient” while applying, starting tomorrow, for $40 million to be fronted to 40,000 low or middle income households that had lost more than a fifth of income due to coronavirus shutdowns.

Jacksonville moved forward with relaxing some restrictions already, with the new rules in place next week.

Beaches, currently open for seven hours a day, will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting May 4. Users must be “participating in recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, walking pets and surfing.”

Meanwhile, Jacksonville and the Beaches are ready to receive travelers as May 4 also sees the lifting of restrictions on lodging.

The city is ready to relax restrictions on vacation rentals, contingent on the Governor lifting a statewide temporary ban on them. However, that ban is still in effect.

Restaurants will be open with 25% capacity, Curry noted, along with retail shops on Monday.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • Margaret A Blustine

    April 30, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Opening anything is irratioal.there is no flatening curve a not really anywhere.jax had highest to date ases day beaches opened. Now treasure coast last of few be hitcwent from 4 cases to almost 500 in 2 weeks.tstingbeen open longer. Nw de santis wil destroy flaeconomy for years. Last tourist area left mite be ok by july now hes ruining teasure coast.graph of new cases see saws still at still very high cases at lowest snd never even 3 dsys consecutive declining cases. His fake lockdown obviously didnt work as fla 1 worst hit per 1 miion populatio an now fast on surging flood week aftercweek toinfinity as de santis does to fla what trump did and doing to america.other coutries fedl.governments helped hugelybtrump told governors go find virus batling eerything.irrational.fema set up to this what do goernors know abt pandemi and how handle? found sevl southern states to open stupidly onrfast to political snd economi tourists will come to fla is he kidding? Fla graps of new cases stil.vry high at 600 plu to 1000 and unable to contain in 2 weeks out of control. Opening anything cases all over state surge as people go all over.6 ft obviously doesntvwork.sneezes go 30 ft per dr fauci and hang in air 3 hrs and proven can ravel a kile slight breeze. Beaches total suicide. Herd immunity not possible no vaccine will get75 pr cent population fast now.fla racks like itsly graps. No flattening curve de santis needs stop.lying.hes notblooking atvdata from doh which is acurate or is just a urderoux liar.jobody is goingbto rent z house or as flzcstill no bad shape new cases way too high.touristscwill gobetmua bahsmas. And now opening will.spread even more to disaster with somsny more unemployment.workng sge dying a lot morevthan other countries. Bad smerican diet. Masks on flights useless.temps dont catch thoussndscarriers.antibodybtestg numbers needed months awaymwithout draconisn ordrs likecso.korea lookvwhat de santis did snd is doingvto florids. He gets brainwashedbybtrumpbwith useless irrelevant dsta etv. States did strict lockdown not opening yet.when they do will get economy back.not florida.a stupid goernofbopening with cases and see saw curve with lowest point sance aprl.7 stil way too high for any containment. Medical exprts sayjune with do santis look at graph.thees o flatrning
    Are you.nuts lying so much.we see.touristx ser.e are italy dnd ny.1million casex bybend june because of you.and fls now hates trump.and jow arexz liar.fix it.lockdown not cause economic poitical and deaths to infinity to are dad wrong opening.jax still hide cases still cant contain the onster virus youare now fully unleashing on florida.badceuf youbdid fskeockdownbthatcsaw inimsl see saw decrease then you know what a flat linelooks like? ??obviouslyyou prefer to lie.god help floridz from your irrationdl rushing only to colapse economy for years.why doesnt snybreporter do esearch snd call hi ouy no flatteningvstrongly be4 he lets it out ofcontrol this eeek.

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