Story at a glance
- A man dressed as the Grim Reaper has been walking around Florida beaches warning people of the dangers of the coronavirus.
- The man in the costume is Daniel Uhlfelder, a lawyer who is making public education his personal goal.
- Now, Uhlfelder is raising money to go on tour to beaches around Florida and educate those in the public.
As coronavirus cases spike in Florida after an early reopening, the state’s Grim Reaper is taking his show on the road. No, that’s not a morbid analogy for the COVID-19 death count, but refers to a lawyer from Santa Rosa Beach who has been dressing up as the symbol of death and warning beachgoers of the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
For several months I have traveled Florida to ensure the truth of pandemic was known. We remain more committed than ever to continue & need your support to keep going as Florida has become epicenter. Please retweet and consider chipping in here:https://t.co/8MpQI24y1W
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) July 7, 2020
Daniel Uhlfelder’s Twitter bio identifies him as a husband, dad, lawyer, entrepreneur, Stanford and University of Florida law school graduate and the Grim Reaper. Now, he’s the founder of the Make My Day political action committee (PAC), which is fundraising for Democrats running for federal office and to allow Uhlfelder to travel to the state’s various coastal towns and warn locals about the risks of not practicing social distancing.
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One of the last states to implement a stay-at-home order, Florida became one of the first to reopen in May, a decision that state officials have since admitted played a role in the recent spike in case counts. Photographs of hundreds of people on Florida beaches were swiftly followed by a spike in daily coronavirus cases, which quadrupled and surged past 100,000 cases on June 22.
A trial lawyer who usually deals with property sales and divorces, Uhlfelder first tried taking the matter to court, filing a complaint against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to force the closure of the state’s beaches. When that failed, he hit the sand wearing a black robe and hood and holding a scythe to remind beachgoers in Jacksonville and surrounding beaches of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Not everyone was amused, however, as apparent in a Showtime video following Uhlfelder around the beach. One person called him an “a——” and others called local police, saying that he was scaring the children.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refuses to listen to the Florida Grim Reaper. We will not be silenced and we will never give up. pic.twitter.com/TsEamkoPlz
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) June 26, 2020
But he doesn’t place all the blame on the beachgoers.
“I think the criticism lays at the hands of our leaders. Rob DeSantis is the one who said our beaches are open. I mean, they weren’t breaking any laws, they paid money to be here, they were on break, and everything in the country was closed,” he said in the interview.
The Florida Grim Reaper has gained support on social media, with over 100,000 followers on his Twitter account. Now, he’s answering the call of Floridians who’ve invited him to their beach towns to spread his message.
Daniel thank u for all your work. If we think about the metaphor of this video we see an older intoxicated man on the beach in FL with no mask chasing the grim reaper. It seems somehow redundant & superflous at the same time. https://t.co/pgvQYljvay
— Teri Robins (@TeriRobins2) July 5, 2020
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