A progressive group released a video Thursday attacking Gov. Ron DeSantis for “parroting” President Donald Trump on how he is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Florida Watch video centers on the Governor’s decision to reopen schools in August despite the high number of COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State.
“As the coronavirus rages across Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is parroting Donald Trump’s calls for students and teachers to return to school without proper funding or safety measures,” the video begins. “Floridians were stunned and confused when the DeSantis administration ordered our schools to reopen for in-person classes despite Florida being a worldwide hotspot for COVID-19.”
The video alleges DeSantis is sending students and staff into schools without proper funding or safety measures.
It also cites portions of a CDC statement advising that “full-sized in-person classes, activities, and events” are the “highest risk.”
“Gov. DeSantis needs to grow a spine and quit kowtowing to President Trump,” said Lisa Zayas, Latinx outreach director for Florida Watch and a mom to school-age children. “His reckless response to the coronavirus has already resulted in thousands of dead Floridians, and now he is putting the lives of our kids and our teachers at risk.”
DeSantis has maintained children are unlikely vectors for the novel coronavirus and warned that distance learning can negatively impact academic achievement.
The order to re-open schools also allows parents to decide whether or not to send their student back into a classroom.
On Monday, the Florida Education Association’s filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s order to reopen schools in a South Florida circuit court.
The lawsuit hinges on language within the Florida Constitution that requires schools to be “safe” and “secure.” DeSantis claims the order did not come from him.
Florida Watch said it plans to publish the video online and across social media platforms.