Florida Gov Orders State to Begin Reopening Monday: ‘Fear is the Enemy’
Governor Ron DeSantis announces plan in highly-detailed speech
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has announced that he has ordered the Sunshine State to begin reopening on Monday.
In a roughly 40-minute long, highly-detailed speech on Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis said the state was to start further lifting lockdown measures, asserting, “Fear is the enemy.”
Earlier this month, Florida reopened its beaches to the public after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Crowds of beachgoers were seen flooding the shore as Florida's beaches were officially opened up.
Jacksonville beaches reopened under limited hours and use restrictions, with police patrols stopping people from sunbathing or breaching other rules.
Enthusiastic residents were seen cheering as they ran out onto the sand after weeks of closures.
"Florida will take a step, small, deliberate, methodical, and based on consultation with some of our greatest physicians towards a more hopeful future," DeSantis stated on Wednesday.
"We do have hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Now, I’ll outline the steps that we’ll be taking going forward.
"This new phase will start on Monday, and will for the time being exclude Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
"These counties have seen the lion’s share of the state’s epidemic but they are trending in a positive direction.
"I am working with them and will continue to work with them and I do believe that they will be able to move to phase one very soon.”
"We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart, and step by step," the Republican governor continued.
"What is our biggest obstacle? Fear. Fear of the unknown.
"Fear sparked by constant doom and gloom and hysteria that has permeated our culture for the last six weeks.
"For example, we’ve seen a sudden drop in the number of people who are seeking medical care for heart problems and stroke symptoms, not because these common ailments have all of a sudden disappeared, but because people are terrified of going to the hospital because of the coronavirus.
"This will have huge health consequences in the very near future.
"It will almost assuredly result in excessive fatalities. Fear is our enemy.”
"Now, these steps will be deliberate," DeSantis added.
"It will not be like turning off a switch, but each step will bring us closer to that light at the end of the tunnel.
"The only thing we have to fear is letting fear overwhelm our sense of purpose and determination.”
"We also want to make sure we have our vulnerable populations protected," he said, addressing the Floridians most vulnerable to COVID-19.
"We know that this virus is far more damaging to people who are elderly or who have significant underlying medical conditions, and we need to do things such as what Florida has done to protect nursing homes and continue to do that going forward.”
"One of the reasons we’re going to take a very slow and methodical approach is because we want to make sure we build as much confidence as possible with the general public," he stated.
"We’ll continue to promote various forms of social distancing," the governor confirmed.
"There’s a, I think, unfortunate habit of people particularly in the media to conflate shelter in place with social distancing.
"Social distancing involves a whole host of things that can be done to help reduce the spread of the virus.”
"Saying Florida was going to be like New York was wrong and people need to know was wrong…" he noted.
"Florida was not an Uber Italy at all …
"I remember reading that by last week, so this was in March, they said by April 24, Florida would have 465,000 people hospitalized because of COVID-19 …
"You look down, 2,111 hospitalizations.
"So they were off by about 463,000 hospitalizations.
"We’re going to continue with the CDC guidelines about physical distancing when in public," he said.
"Social groups at 10 or fewer.
"We’re going to continue doing that and we’re recommending face masks if you’re in face-to-face interactions with people, particularly in the workplace and if you can’t adequately social distance."
"We did not ask to be put into this situation," he said bluntly.
"This was thrust upon us largely because of the malfeasance of the Chinese communist party.
"We are where we are, but I think that we can get through it. I think we can build the foundation.”
"I’m reminded of an old story, an anecdote from the Middle Ages where you had three stone masons," Gov. DeSantis concluded.
"They were building, they were working stone in Germany.
"They were just hard at work yet an observer there that asked the first mason what he was doing.
"First mason said, 'Sir, I am shaping stone.'
"He then asked the same question to the second mason and second mason said, 'Sir, I’m making a wall.'
"Well, he finally got around to asking the third mason and the third mason was very excited and proud to proclaim, 'I am creating a cathedral.'
"The cathedral that we are building today is a state that is healthy, safe, prosperous, and free.
"We can do it. God bless you all."