Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he “will never” lock the state down again during a press conference on Monday.
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “We will NEVER do any of these lockdowns again.” pic.twitter.com/YxJh2nxiV3
— The Hill (@thehill) August 31, 2020
DeSantis’ comments come after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would do “whatever it takes” to combat the virus during an interview with ABC’s David Muir.
“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists. We’re going to do whatever it takes to save lives,” Biden said.
But DeSantis said he thinks a shutdown could be disastrous and would hinder economic growth.
“We gained 74,000, I think, private-sector jobs in July. Just imagine if we had shut down the state, we would have lost another 3-400,000 jobs. And so I think that we understand what we need to do,” DeSantis said, before comparing the effectiveness of lockdowns in Florida to Peru. (RELATED: REPORT: Peruvian Mayor Plays Dead To Avoid Police Who Were Enforcing His Own Lockdown Rules)
“Military enforced since March. They have the highest per capita mortality in the world from COVID. And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality … it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on,” he said.
In Miami-Dade County, restaurants reopened at 50% capacity, with DeSantis saying he’s looking to loosen restrictions to allow bars and nightclubs to reopen in South Florida.
“Everything’s open except the nightclubs and the pubs, and that’s something we’re going to address,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to work on our three southern Florida counties, getting them where we are. And that’s really the last piece of the puzzle.”
Since March the state has seen more than 600,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The state has a positivity rate of 5.52%, according to the Tampa Bay Times.