Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t like merely pretending COVID isn’t a crisis. He is actively obstructing the ability of local officials and private businesses to get this virus under control in Florida.
Once again on Friday, Florida broke a daily record for new COVID-19 cases with over 25,000 recorded that day. Last week, Florida had over 1,000 COVID-19 related deaths. On Saturday, Florida set a new record for hospitalizations with COVID-19 of almost 16,000 patients. Florida’s remaining ICU capacity has shrunk to under 8%.
If Governor DeSantis was ignoring COVID-19 while playing golf, politicking around the country and talking about other things that divert attention it would be terrible but would be preferable to his current tact. Right now, the Governor is actively working to mitigate any effort to combat the virus and undermining local authorities efforts to respond to THEIR CONSTITUENTS who are demanding stronger efforts on COVID-19.
It’s become convenient for some in the media to credit DeSantis for Florida’s pre-July COVID mitigation efforts. But he deserves no credit as we pointed out earlier this week. The very same local officials now trying to do the right thing and respond to a community emergency are the ones whose efforts saved lives prior to July.
The highly-focused and disciplined behavior of our Governor is designed to build a virtual autocracy in the state where preeption of any local ordinances that conflict with DeSantis ideology can be arbitrarily cancelled and any private company must bend its own corporate culture to what the Governor wants.
Unlike Donald Trump, who wanted to consolidate power in his own hands but was largely clueless on how to do so, DeSantis has carefully built a construct where he can strip power and independence away from other entities and consolidate it around his inner circle. DeSantis focus and discipline in executing such a move is what separates him from the impulsive and undisciplined Trump.
Often in crisis we hear of the leader not leading and needing to move out of the way so others can take the mantle. In this case, DeSantis isn’t AWOL at all, he is actively working to undermine the efforts to mitigate the virus in Florida.