The ongoing war of words continued Saturday between the Governors of Florida and New York, with Gov. Ron DeSantis jabbing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a quarantine threat.
“Governors have prerogative to do what they need to do. If that is done, please don’t quarantine Floridians in nursing homes in New York,” DeSantis told reporters in Tallahassee during a rare Saturday press conference.
Over 6,300 Empire State elders have perished in New York nursing homes, after Cuomo ordered COVID-19 positives back into facilities. Cuomo has said concern about this is simply “a shiny object … pure politics.”
DeSantis’ comments, “pure politics” or otherwise, came days after a widely reported Cuomo rumination on quarantining Floridians who go to New York in light of the state’s escalation in COVID-19 cases.
“If you went to Florida, you had to quarantine for two weeks because they were afraid that New Yorkers were bringing the virus to their state,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said Thursday. “You want to talk about a full 180. Fast forward 100 days, now we’re afraid they’re bringing the virus to our state.”
Indeed, one of Florida Gov. DeSantis‘ signature moves to stem the virus earlier in the Spring was an attempt to impose a 14-day quarantine on travelers from the Empire State to the Sunshine State.
“That’s the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced in the state of Florida and then spread,” the first-term Republican Governor said in March.
Throughout much of the Spring, New York struggled with getting coronavirus in check even as Florida seemed to be succeeding, and the Governor advanced a narrative of defeating the virus, one trumpeted by conservative media.
In a piece in National Review, an unidentified source was used to vent on DeSantis’ behalf.
“I don’t want to cast aspersions on others, but it is incredible to me, it’s shocking that Governor Cuomo [and others] are able to kind of just avoid real questions about their policies early on to actually send individuals into the nursing home, which is completely counter to the real data,” said a “health official.”
Regardless of those attempts at narrative setting, New York and Florida are headed in opposite directions.
Cuomo crowed Wednesday that New York had a 0.9% rate of positive tests.
Models delineate further challenges for Florida, presenting potential challenges to a Governor who has vowed to open up the state again even as it’s becoming clear that the flattening of the coronavirus curve proved elusive after all.