Former ‘Master of Disaster’ Jared Moskowitz won’t stop schooling on COVID-19

Jared Moskowitz is on Twitter with some vastly different opinions than his former boss.

After leading the state through hurricanes, a pandemic, and a hurricane during a pandemic, Florida’s former emergency management director was welcomed to the Coral Springs City Commission chambers last week like a conquering hero.

Jared Moskowitz’s efforts to handle emergencies in a famously disaster-prone state has landed him in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on all the national television networks. Last week, he also showed up for a city of Coral Springs certificate of appreciation, complete with a photo opportunity.

“This guy was running the entire state during one of the most unprecedented events in the world and he was leading one of the largest states through that time and when you called him, he answered,” raved Coral Springs Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons. “It’s unheard of, unheard of.”

Moskowitz, whose resignation from his post as “master of disaster” made national news, shrugged off the plaudits.

“It was a team effort,” said the resident of neighboring Parkland, lauding the efforts of state and local entities working together.

Anyone who reads his Twitter feed, though, knows that Moskowitz has never been ready to declare “mission accomplished” over COVID-19 even when infection rates were going down and he left his post with Gov. Ron DeSantis to spend more time with his family earlier this year.

Moskowitz was not available to discuss his next move or how he’s retained his blue checkmark verifying his Twitter account, even though he’s changed his Twitter handle to “MASKowitz.” His pinned tweet — “MASKS” written 55 times and posted June 30, 2020 — seems prophetic now that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended that people wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Celebrities or politicians who are doubting or lukewarm on the science of vaccination or masks might find themselves getting a Twitter jab or two.

He’s pointed out the Governor of Alabama is now blaming the unvaccinated for the latest surge even though she banned vaccine passports last May.

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, representing Georgia’s 14th District, is a frequent target.

Moskowitz appears to avoid any mention of his former boss, DeSantis, however.

Lately, his Twitter feed has shed some of the tongue-in-cheek humor, replaced instead with retweets containing factual statements about the ongoing pandemic.

Moskowitz, 40, got his start in public life on the Parkland City Commission. The Democrat was elected state Representative in 2012 and served until DeSantis appointed him to be director of the Florida Division of Emergency Managment in 2019.

He left that job, promising on Twitter he’d be back.

His official hiatus doesn’t mean Moskowitz is going to sit back and let disaster happen. He showed up at the Surfside collapse with a Dr Pepper for his successor at the Division of Emergency Management, Kevin Guthrie. He’s alerting his followers about hurricane danger. And you might find him knocking on your door to urge you to do your part to help mitigate the pandemic.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]

One comment

  • just sayin

    August 3, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I didn’t see any views that differed from his boss, much less “vastly differed”. Could you highlight them? DeSantis called for vaccination a while ago.

Comments are closed.


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