Thirteen members of Congress are urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order.
In a letter sent to the governor Tuesday, the 13 Florida Democrats commended DeSantis for issuing a "safer-at-home" order for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties, but said more action was needed.
“However, given that there are over 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida, with the Department of Health reporting 523 new positive cases on Sunday, this order should be applied to the entire state immediately in order to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19,” the letter said. “This pandemic has not respected global borders so it certainly will not respect county borders.”
The congress members added that action was needed immediately from the governor.
“We cannot wait, and we cannot leave this decision to county and municipal governments. We urge you to immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives,” the letter said.
The letter’s co-authors include former Florida governor Charlie Crist, former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Kathy Castor, and former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump complimented the Florida governor as “a great governor” who "knows exactly what he's doing" during a White House press briefing last week.
While DeSantis has said he wants local governments to institute their own rules in response to the pandemic, yesterday the Republican governor also stated that he would consider a universal state-wide stay-at-home order if it came from the White House.
“I’m in contact with them, and, basically, I’ve said, ‘Are you guys recommending this?’” DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday, in reference to the White House COVID-19 team. “The task force has not recommended that to me. Obviously, if they do, that is something that would carry a lot of weight with me.”
Meanwhile, an online petition is calling DeSantis and the Florida State Senate to “shutdown Florida” to deter the spread of COVID-19. So far, that petition has over 400,000 signatures.
By 11 a.m. on April 1, Florida had over 6,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19. So far, the state has faced 85 deaths resulting from the pandemic.
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