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Coronavirus in Florida

Rick Scott says better state-level messaging needed in fight against COVID-19

“Florida and every state has got to give people the information.”

As Florida continues to battle the ongoing pandemic, its former Governor suggests better messaging would lead to better results, here and elsewhere.

“It comes down to this: Florida and every state has got to give people the information and let them know how they can protect themselves and talk about it constantly,” said Sen. Rick Scott Thursday on the Fox News Rundown.

The Senator, as ever, refused to mention Gov. Ron DeSantis by name, but suggested the first-term Republican’s messaging had considerable room for improvement, offering his own performance as Governor as a potential corrective.

“When a hurricane was bearing down on my state,” Scott noted, “I was giving a press conference every few hours.”

“The same thing with this,” Scott said, clearly suggesting that the “hurricane” is COVID-19.

Better messaging, Scott suggested, would lead to better outcomes without the levers of governmental coercion.

“Don’t mandate everything to us. Talk us into it by giving us good information,” Scott added.

The comments come as more than 250 more deaths were confirmed in Thursday’s report from the Department of Health as being caused by the novel coronavirus

For Scott, the comments Thursday continue a theme of critiques including about “inconsistent” messaging from Governors, such as Florida, where coronavirus runs unchecked.

On Monday’s edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box, the Senator refused to mention the Governor’s name, saying that “in the middle of a crisis you shouldn’t just be criticizing everybody.”

“What you’ve got to do is get out there and give good information,” Scott said. “This is not just for the Florida Governor, it’s for Governors around the country.”

Scott had previously discussed what he sees as a void of “good information.” On Monday, with interviewers pressing him to get specific about DeSantis, Scott expanded on previous talking points, including another version of the riff about storm prep.

“The difference between this and what I did with hurricanes when I was the Governor was I just inundated people with information,” the Senator said.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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