On Thursday in Panama City, Gov. Ron DeSantis noted Florida’s unemployment rate would have more than doubled if this had been a “lockdown” state, and the “mainstream media” is starting to come around to his wisdom.
“It’s interesting. Now you’re starting to see some of these mainstream media, national media admit ‘Oh, Florida had schools open, it was the right decision. Oh, Florida has a 4.8% unemployment rate and yet their mortality for COVID is less than a lot of these lockdown states per capita,'” DeSantis said to reporters hours after a Tallahassee roundtable with scientists who agreed with him on virus precautions.
DeSantis did not say which media agreed with him that did not previously. But he did note that for many observers early in the pandemic, Florida appeared particularly disadvantaged.
“Look. This economy, you go back 11 months when the world got turned upside down, people were saying that Florida was going to end up being hit the worst on everything. Obviously with COVID because we have so many senior citizens, no one would have predicted we’d have mortality for COVID per capita less than the national average,” DeSantis said.
“And they also said economically that it was going to be devastating, and you know what? Had we done these lockdown policies, our unemployment could be 10% instead of 4.8%. And so we’ve saved millions of people’s livelihoods,” DeSantis said, describing the state as “going in the right direction.”
“We’re going to have no mandates, no lockdowns,” DeSantis promised.
The Governor continues to trumpet the state’s economic performance, even as he bemoans not quite getting enough in terms of federal virus relief. He rejected calls from Sen. Rick Scott to reject and return money not specific to virus relief this week.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” said DeSantis in Tallahassee. “If Florida were to send the money back, Treasury Secretary [Janet] Yellen is going to send it to Illinois, California, New York or New Jersey.”
“I don’t think that would make sense for Floridians for us to be giving even more money to the blue states that are already getting such a big windfall in this bill,” DeSantis added.