Gov. DeSantis promotes beach as place to escape coronavirus
Daytona Beach Photo courtesy Visit Florida

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 5.51.24 PM
The virus doesn't like sunshine, Governor says.

COVID-19 continues to surge throughout Florida, with positive testing rates flirting with 15% in Wednesday’s report from the Department of Health.

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, the Governor says that for those concerned with the virus, outdoor activity, such as beaches and parks, are better bets than “being packed indoors.”

“Obviously, it needs to be controlled … but by and large the virus does not like sunshine, heat, and humidity,” DeSantis said, adding that “very few outbreaks from something like a park or a beach” occur.

“I’m more concerned about people crowding into the AC and having private parties and things like that, close contact,” DeSantis said. “The virus likes that kind of environment better.”

Of particular concern: “areas of poor ventilation” and “those really close indoor things.”

Mirroring language used by Vice President Mike Pence last week, DeSantis acknowledged a surge of cases through the “Sunbelt,” which includes Florida.

“You are seeing higher levels of people testing positive,” DeSantis said, noting that rates of “2 to 3%” have metastasized to “10 to 15% pretty much for the last two weeks.”

“I think after Memorial Day when it fell out of the news, people thought it was over,” DeSantis suggested, urging protecting the “vulnerable”

During the spring, when Gov. DeSantis appeared to be flattening the curve through a combination of voluntary measures, luck, and strategic business shutdowns, he found himself in an extended debate with media about beach openings.

In those press conferences, held before the virus began its numerical surge after Memorial Day weekend, he contended that beaches and other outdoor activities were much safer than indoor events.

After Duval County opened beaches for limited purposes, DeSantis repeatedly attempted to defend Duval against the slings and arrows of a press he has seen as sensationalistic throughout the coronacrisis.

Duval’s case rate, he said in May, equalled “lunchtime in Queens.”

Now, of course, out-of-state media is focusing on Florida for rampant community spread of COVID-19, with the Republican National Convention headed to besieged Jacksonville, meaning that the beach advice may not resonate nationally as it once did.

A.G. Gancarski

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


3 comments

  • Frankie M.

    July 1, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    “Hope and luck” is not a winning strategy as any self respecting Republican can tell you. That being said alot of people will be “escaping” to the beach bars this weekend! Party at the Moontower!!

  • BlueHeron

    July 1, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I am a stones throw from some of the nations most popular beaches here in Florida.There are three. There is absolutely no way to count on personal responsibility in anything with regard to covid.
    There will be wall to wall people from all over the state visiting our beaches this weekend. That’s a guarantee.
    Covid doesn’t care where you are. If you are at our beaches this weekend, “sunshine” will not be the best disinfectant.

    Smile for the cameras y’all cause the country will be watching.

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 2, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Duffus Desantis you are criminally negligent in serving and protecting Floridians. Shut the damn state down for our children! Keep the RNC out of Jacksonville, a proud military town! Do not bring that scum bag Putin loving traitor trump to Jacksonville a proud military town!

Comments are closed.


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