Gov. DeSantis warns Floridians of looming tropical storm, coins ‘one goal, one Florida’ slogan

Governor strikes a unifying tone in latest address.

Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed Floridians Thursday evening to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the tropical storm rapidly approaching the state from the Caribbean Sea.

Speaking in a live address from the Cabinet meeting room, DeSantis first urged Floridians to ready their supplies and polish their emergency plans ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias’s looming landfall.

“While we can’t be certain of the exact track of the storm and we certainly can’t be sure about the intensity it will ultimately reach, we do expect to see impacts to the state of Florida even if the storm remains off our shore,” DeSantis said.

As of 5 p.m., the National Hurricane Center reported that the tropical system was roughly 250 miles west-northwest of the Dominican Republic and producing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Forecasters also warned that the storm may develop into a hurricane late Friday.

Five-day path projection from the National Hurricane Center.

On the other front, DeSantis unveiled a new slogan and a more tender approach in his address to Floridians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeSantis reintroduced his COVID-19 state guidelines and recovery plans, such as reopening schools, with a more unifying and patriotic tone.

“We have one goal,” DeSantis said. “We are one Florida.”

The Governor also told the story of U.S. Air Force veteran Clyde Finch, an 88-year-old Korean War veteran with existing health conditions who overcame a 29-day hospitalization with the novel coronavirus.

“Mr. Finch not only beat it,” DeSantis said. “He is doing well and will be celebrating his 89th birthday in 16 days. And just like Mr. Finch, we too must stay in the fight and stay strong for we have one goal and we are one Florida.”

The Governor’s message of unity and hope on both fronts comes after state health officials reported a rise in deaths but a decline in new COVID-19 cases.

As of the latest update, 253 more residents were declared dead from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period. Notably, state health officials also reported a decline in COVID-19 cases. For all of Wednesday, 9,943 residents tested positive.

DeSantis also cited other positive trends such as falling emergency room visits and COVID-19 hospitalizations. He urged Floridians to “press forward” just like Clyde Finch.

“We’ll fight with hope and optimism and we will emerge stronger as a result of it,” DeSantis said. “We must stay strong. We must not fear for we will succeed.”

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


  • BlueHeron

    July 31, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Does he seriously think his “pretty” words are really going to inspire us?
    A good way to inspire us is to get off his ass and come up with a rational plan
    that can be implemented safely, properly and urgently. We need to be throwing everything
    including the kitchen sink at this. Pretty words but no change in “strategy”. At. All.
    Pretty words but no decision to be 100% transparent with reporting the REAL data.
    Hope and optimism is NOT a plan.
    He needs to stop taking Trump’s advice and man up.

    I am very happy for Mr. Finch. I truly am. But, sadly, he is the exception to the “rule”.
    He got through it, not because of DeSantis’ mgmt of the crisis. He got through it in spite
    of DeSantis.

    My hope is that if enough of us stay healthy and alive, we can vote his ass out in 2022.

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 31, 2020 at 5:22 am

    One Goal One Florida ! The bs factor belies Duffus Desantis words! What the F is the goal for one Florida? To be number one in trumpvirus positive cases! Almost there Duffus Desantis! One Florida will be One Goal by Monday! Shut down the state! Now that is a One Goal One Florida that will serve and protect all Floridians !

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