Ron DeSantis tells Laura Ingraham that critics of his reopening plan are ‘ignorant about Florida’
Gov. Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis
The Governor appeared on Fox News Channel Friday night.

Businesses in the Sunshine State are closer to normal than they’ve been since March after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the state into Phase 3 of his Reopening plan Friday.

The Governor appeared on Fox News Channel Friday night with Laura Ingraham, where he was presented with criticism from CNN’s Sanjay Gupta about the state’s decision to increase restaurant capacity.

DeSantis’ take is that such criticism stems from those who are “ignorant about Florida.”

“We never closed down over the summer,” DeSantis said. “He was talking about the Sunbelt Spike. We actually had, of course, beaches, theme parks, retail operating at 100%. We had sports, summer camps over the summer. We have over 1.1 million students in face-to-face instruction for K-12. We have college students that are on campus. We’ve had big events, college football with fans. NFL football with fans. We had a NASCAR race with 30,000 people.”

“So we’ve been open. The final piece of the puzzle was this capacity limitation on restaurants at 50%. And so that was the announcement … kind of brought that in for a landing.”

DeSantis thinks the ultimate impact of the move to Phase 3 will be “good for jobs” and allows for situations where “an individual can make decisions for what’s right for them.”

The idea, the Governor told Ingraham, is that people would be “free to choose.”

As part of his reopening plan, the Governor barred cities and counties from collecting fines on people who violate social distancing rules or don’t wear face masks. The governor’s order virtually nullifies local ordinances put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

DeSantis also took issue with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has advocated a national standard for mask wearing and corona-caution.

“Lockdowns should be off the table,” DeSantis said, noting a now familiar argument that they “exacerbate” other social problems.

Florida has long been a COVID-19 hotspot, with nearly 700,000 confirmed virus cases since the pandemic began in March. Nearly 14,000 Floridians have died.

DeSantis reluctantly closed bars and nightclubs on St. Patrick’s Day due to the outbreak, and days later, restricted restaurants to takeout dining. Amusement parks ground to a halt.

The closures battered the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians unemployed. Since March 15, More than 2.5 million Floridians have sought unemployment benefits.

DeSantis slowly reopened the state for business since then, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at half capacity, while deferring to local officials who advocated reopening more slowly in the pandemic’s epicenters in South Florida.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • James Robert Miles

    September 26, 2020 at 7:11 am

    No one is more ignorant than this Trump butt-kisser. The GOP extremist party is betting that more people will die of covid and hopes that most of them will be Democrats but it doesn’t work that way. The second wave is coming and there will be a lot of dead Republicans since they are the idiots who refuse to wear masks, DeSatan will have to deal with that!

    • Pinky Acevedo

      September 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      I agree it sad how my husband got COVID -19 cuz this gas station are not been push by the state to clean them… n now he wants to continue opening the business more, he family has top of the line insurance while other don’t have n he get a paycheck while other’s don’t n never mind we all try to figure out how we going to due groceries that this price are going higher n higher… so we need a big change some one that going to look out for his people in Florida n not worry that he. It listen to the president n looking good to him…. WE ARE THE ONE THAT PUT HIM IN THAT CHAIR TO TAKE CARE OF US!!


    September 26, 2020 at 7:24 am

    14,000 Floridians dead from Covid.
    Over 7 million U.S. cases.
    No end in sight.

  • John Coughlin

    September 26, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Sadly, the high hopes I had for this governor have been dashed. He continues to ignore science and medicine, manipulate the facts on the ground, and puts politics above the health and safety of Florida’s citizens.

    He no longer has my support.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 26, 2020 at 9:39 am

    You ignorant! You duffus Desantis are killing our children!

  • Cyndi

    September 26, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Unbelievable this Trump Stooge, embarrassing to say I was a Republican and see where this party has deteriorated

  • Dean

    September 26, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Thank god for sedated

  • N Blythe

    September 26, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I really tried to get behind this guy, but he has failed on all fronts. Miserable man.

  • Diane Crozier

    September 26, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    I didn’t vote for DeSantis but his first few months in office caused a change in my thinking. But then COVID-19 hit us and I quickly changed my mind. While I know the importance of opening businesses and getting people back to work, peoples lives are more important. It appears you are dead set on business reopening and restaurants at full capacity and also not enforcing masks. You say “people will use their own judgement “. I believe you are creating the perfect storm!! Wouldn’t it make more sense to open stores but enforce mask wearing. If we spike again that will be on your shoulders. It appears that pleasing Trump is your first thought not us Floridians.

    • Sheri

      September 26, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      You can decide for yourself if you want to go to a restaurant or not. He’s not forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to, and if you got you can wear a masj. People need to think for themselves what’s best for them and stop blaming the government, be adults!!!

      • John Coughlin

        September 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

        Actually he is…. he is forcing people who want to buy groceries to be exposed to people without masks.

        Think about that. Or should people just stop eating?

        Sadly we have a certain segment of this population who are against anything that would inconvenience them even for a moment, and count is as “freedom”. no matter the danger to society at large.

  • Sara

    September 26, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Sure Florida never shut down!?!? But you still can’t get into a state run agency. DeSantis and his cronies are safe while he makes decisions that leave ALL Floridians unsafe!!! If masks are effective enough for our children and the adults that have to be around them, then OUR offices should be under the same precautions. People need face to face help from these agencies under these conditions. They don’t answer phones and when they do, you’re on hold for extremely long periods. Unemployment, economic sufficiency, and other ESSENTIAL OFFICES should be open. If DeSantis allowed the Adult arcades to open months ago, he should have made his (our) offices open again. Why isn’t it safe for state employees to deal with the public, but supermarket employees, restaurant employees and now school employees are considered Essential. Finding a job is on an appointment only basis at our local career centers. Governor DeSantis should treat all people equally.

    • Keith Baumann

      September 26, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      He’s wrong. I live in Central Florida in a well known retirement community with an average age above 65. I was at a Farmers Market this morning and fewer than 50% were wearing masks. The bars were crowded (at noon). No one was social distancing. I repeat, he’s wrong!

  • David Bruderly

    September 26, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    You’ve got it backwards Gov … Require EVERYONE to obey guidelines… face Masks … distancing … rapid testing results … contact tracing … and businesses will adapt and the virus will be controlled… keep putting Trump and $$$ First and people will keep getting sick … and dying …

    • John Coughlin

      September 26, 2020 at 2:14 pm


  • LA

    September 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    I believe DeSantis misspoke when he said people were ‘ignorant about Florida’. I think he meant to say, ‘Hey down here in Florida we are all about Ignorant.’ Of course he is the Leader of that club.

    Yes, I live in Florida. A transplant from Midwest Nice.

    I have yet to find the appropriate word or words to describe the murderously greedy decisions DeSantis has made.

    My thoughts do not stop there, but my comment will.

    I really do not want overwhelm, but I do want people to give some serious thought to the actions, and the lack thereof.

    I would also encourage all of us to pull together, brainstorm thoughts and ideas on what ‘out of the box’ plans for keeping ourselves and others safe, to keep businesses in business and keep Covid numbers and deaths from increasing. Time better spent and an opportunity for more options and ingenuity.

    Have a Brilliant Day—be Brilliant!🙂

  • Bonnie

    September 26, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    He is the biggest idiot after Trump. Those guys haven’t a clue how to curb this virus and furthermore they don’t give a rats ass. We can’t afford another Trump term. Please people get him out

  • Joe

    September 26, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Frump and Desatan have decided the only way to win is by opening the floodgates to make it look like the economy is better. Using the idea of herd immunity and allowing millions needlessly die, neither frump or his mini me care as long as they win. So, all you frumpers go out and do whatever you want and don’t take care of yourself. But keep an eye 👁 on the numbers as they start to go up again as people continue to die.

  • Laurie

    September 26, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Biggest mistake of his life…He’s a Trump mini=me and just wants a lot of people to die…MARK MY WORDS

  • PeterH

    September 28, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Based on zero scientific evidence……Florida Republican Governor DeSantis has immediately lifted all Covid mask restrictions statewide for fines, bars and restaurants and all indoor or outdoor gatherings. No masks anywhere. I’m hopeful grocery stores will be be able to enforce mask wearing.

    The idiocy of this DeSantis move is far reaching. 40% of South Florida tourism is from South America, Canada and the EU. Senior citizens and tourist put more money into businesses than ‘spring break’ teenagers. Tourist and seniors can’t feel comfortable coming here if they know Florida hospitals are at capacity and their foreign health insurance is useless in Florida. We need to be VERY careful and prepare for a horrible Florida Fall and Winter. Ugh. Good grief! Stay safe!

  • Patrick Henry

    September 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    You go Governor!

    Thank you for nullifying the ridiculous mask mandate in Duval County.

    We are adults and know how to wash our hands.

Comments are closed.


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