Other states ‘took their eye off the ball’: Ron DeSantis touts COVID-19 response on Fox
Ron DeSantis returned to Fox News Monday to highlight his proposed legislation cracking down on violent protests.

DeSantis on Fox
The Governor talked Florida's response, beaches reopening and media criticism.

Fox News brought on Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday night to tout Florida’s COVID-19 response in the face of media criticism and to take on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s handling in his state.

Laura Ingraham, of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” framed DeSantis’ interview over the backdrop of predictions the pandemic could explode in Florida if the state didn’t completely lock down. Instead, the state has 1,600 fatalities to date and 38,828 total cases. Meanwhile New York’s death toll is 20,828 and the state has confirmed 327,469 total cases.

The key, DeSantis said, was focusing on the elderly population, particularly in long-term care facilities. At least 622 residents and staff of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have died with COVID-19 infections.

“So let’s devote resources to help those folks who are the most vulnerable,” he said. “We did that in Florida, and I think some of these other states we’ve seen did not do that. They took their eye off the ball.”

The Governor highlighted the 50 National Guard strike teams the state has sent to preemptively test nursing home residents and staff across the state. On Wednesday, he unveiled a mobile testing lab intended to visit nursing homes and take samples that could return results within 45 minutes.

One of the Governor’s first actions after state health officials confirmed the virus in the state was to suspend visitation at nursing homes and to screen staff. As of Thursday, the Division of Emergency Management has delivered 10 million protective masks to long-term care facilities.

“We’ve required the wearing of PPE, but we’ve put our money where our mouth is for these facilities,” DeSantis said.

The Governor refrained from attacking Cuomo, at least by name, but did go after media outlets that said the pandemic would put Florida under water, particularly when some counties moved to reopen their beaches.

They had a spasm in mid-April that Jacksonville was reopening beaches,” the Governor said. “But if you look since then, ICU admissions have fallen off a cliff, hospital admissions down sharply, ventilator use down sharply.”

“We’re three weeks later,” he added. “If this was going to lead to the apocalypse, why are we seeing all the indicators go down instead of up?”

On Monday, Florida began Phase One of its reopening process, which allows restaurants and retail stores to operate at 25% capacity and for hospitals to again conduct elective surgeries. Other restrictions remain in place, including limitations on bars and nightclubs and short-term vacation rentals.

But while some have suggested a state’s COVID-19 response is a zero-sum game — saving lives means tanking the economy — DeSantis said that was a “false choice.”

“We’ve done that in Florida with what we’ve done with long-term care facilities,” the Governor said. “That does not require the economy to be shut down at all.”

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 r[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Sonja Fitch

    May 8, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Duffus Desantis you are a damn nazi just like paranoid delusional racist liar antichrist trump. The good people of Florida did the work! You stupid jerk!

    • Tigger

      May 8, 2020 at 1:57 pm


  • Sonja Fitch

    May 8, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Sorry Duffus Desantis you have not takin your eyes off of trumps balls. Jerk

  • Jeffrey Frost

    May 9, 2020 at 11:31 am

    As the former Republican chair of Manchester New Hampshire I hope the Santa’s someday comes up here and runs for president. Here’s what I wrote sharing this on Facebook:

    “We’re three weeks later,” he added. “If this was going to lead to the apocalypse, why are we seeing all the indicators go down instead of up?”

    I just got back from Florida after working there for three months on a construction project and yes he’s by far the smartest sharpest governor in the United States when it came to understanding the true statistics that were presented in February prior to anybody shutting down.

    The demographics of this flu like many flus in the past is elderly with other severe illnesses. That was right there in the New England Journal of Medicine – DeSantis did his homework where many of the other governors just reacted under emotion particularly the Democrats.

    DeSantis actions are what Marines would call good leadership Under Fire.

    Again and again and again New York, Italy, and prior flus seasons and the statistics out of China – the elderly 65 and over with one or more illnesses are a huge majority the majority of people dying because they’re already compromised seriously compromise..

    They are the ones that should be isolated from the very beginning the other 92% of us should have been allowed to continue on with our lives

Comments are closed.


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