Though the question was not at the top of Floridians’ minds, Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on stay-at-home orders in states like Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the Democratic Governor’s stay-at-home order, and DeSantis sided with the high court’s decision.
“Some of this stuff I think has devolved into social control,” DeSantis said on Fox and Friends Thursday. “I don’t think any governor has the authority to restrict anyone unless there’s a direct relationship to combatting this virus.”
“If you look around the country,” DeSantis added, “clearly there have been examples of really draconian, arbitrary restrictions that have nothing to do with public health.”
“You can’t plant a seed in the front yard in your garden. You can’t walk around the neighborhood with your daughter or something like that,” the Governor quipped.
“It’s less effective to do that. In Florida, we did not do that,” DeSantis said. “We trusted the people to act appropriately. And we’ve had a better result than some of the states that you’ve seen.”
“So I think that yes, there absolutely have been oversteps. I think legislatures should really look at this as we move forward.”
“You need to be able to act. You need certain things done,” DeSantis said. “But you’re not a dictator. You don’t have unlimited authority. People do have rights.”
While DeSantis has received pushback on issues regarding the reopening of the Florida economy, criticized by salon owners, gym enthusiasts, and vacation rental landlords for not moving far or fast enough at various points, he has been conscious of the temptation of overarching executive mandates, and his rhetoric has reflected that.
For weeks, the Governor has maintained that despite not issuing “draconian orders,” Florida has outperformed other states, with a “tailored and measured” approach done in a “safe way.”
While protests have been staged, turnout has been weak compared to the pyrotechnic presentations in other states.