At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena.
CHAMP: Governor Ron DeSantis
DeSantis gets the nod again, and for good reason.
While Democrats and detractors around Florida want you to believe that DeSantis has done a poor job handling the coronavirus outbreak, the Republican governor has safely navigated the state through the pandemic — with consideration to lives and livelihoods.
Last week, DeSantis curbed the spread of the virus, implementing proactive measures like closing bars and nightclubs, dine-in restaurants, gyms, beaches and other venues, and quarantining travelers from New York where the outbreak is spreading like wildfire.
This week, the governor continued his steadfast approach, enacting travel restrictions and banning new vacation rentals around the state.
The new orders expand his previous quartine order to include Louisiana as people flee the state with positive tests continuing to climb. The order will require anyone who arrives from Louisiana to isolate themselves for two weeks under the threat of a misdemeanor conviction and a 60-day jail sentence — similar to restrictions imposed on New York.
DeSantis also ordered checkpoints to be installed along the state’s major roads that run into the Florida Panhandle from the Gulf Coast, including I-10. The order comes as areas of Central Florida and South Florida continue to see an increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
He also barred companies like Airbnb renting homes or rooms to vacationers for the next few weeks.
Trump says DeSantis has handled the coronavirus outbreak well.
“He’s a very talented guy,” Trump told reporters during today’s press briefing.
— Jordan Kirkland (@JKirklandFL) March 27, 2020
While the goal remains to save lives and minimize the spread of the virus, equally important is to balance one of the largest economies in the world where small businesses are the lifeblood of the state — making up over 99 percent of all businesses in the state.
Thankfully, DeSantis understands this and has been careful — refusing to enact a stay-at-home order that could lead to an economic fallout that Florida may never recover from.
But that’s still not enough for some people…
CHUMP: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
The peanut gallery is out in full force against DeSantis, and one of the biggest voices is the Democratic Representative from Florida.
Like many Democrats around the state, Wasserman Schultz is part of a growing effort to tarnish the progress made by DeSantis.
This week, Wasserman Schultz used the opportunity to falsely handcuff DeSantis to a growing death toll that has occurred as a result of the disease.
According to the Floridian Press, on a conference call with reporters and fellow Democratic representatives, Wasserman Schultz called DeSantis’ actions “really irresponsible,” and flippantly claimed that his actions were “causing more sickness and death” by keeping many of the beaches open.
She then doubled down on Wednesday, siding with Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden who took aim at President Donald Trump and DeSantis.
Unlike @RealDonaldTrump and @GovRonDeSantis, we need leaders who will listen to public health experts amid a #coronavirus crisis. As @JoeBiden points out: ‘Floridians deserve science-based action from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ https://t.co/FpLKlMSvRc
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) March 25, 2020
Wasserman Schultz is just one of many continuing to virtue signal and increase their political stock during a truly difficult time for our country. Instead of offering solutions, people like Wasserman Schultz seek to divide for personal gain.
DeSantis, as well as other leaders, have a lot on their plates. Less blame and more cooperation are needed now more than ever.