Biden: Florida governor has not taken ‘strong, urgent, and sweeping action to stop’ coronavirus
ORLANDO, Fla. — Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to take more action to combat the coronavirus spread in the state amid scrutiny over the governor’s response to the crisis.
“This deadly pandemic does not discriminate along party lines, zip codes, gender, race and certainly not state, county or city lines,” the Democratic presidential primary front-runner said in a statement on Wednesday.
“While other large states continue to take strong, urgent, and sweeping action to stop the spread of COVID-19, Florida has not,” he continued. “I urge Governor DeSantis to let the experts speak to the public and explain why this is the case.”
DeSantis is under pressure to impose a stay-at-home order as governors across the country take strict measures in their states to stop the spread of the virus.
The governor instead on Tuesday ordered anyone in the state who has traveled from the greater New York City area to Florida over the past three weeks to self-isolate as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
DeSantis also announced that Florida’s surgeon general would issue a health advisory warning people 65 years and older to stay inside over the next two weeks.
He has faced backlash for what critics say was a slow response to the crisis, including his lack of action to close crowded Florida beaches amid the pandemic.
DeSantis did close beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties late last week and directed all of Florida’s state parks shut down on Monday.
The Miami Herald’s editorial board published a scathing op-ed on Sunday that accused the governor of “working overtime to preserve our status as the world’s leading exporter of political comedy.”
Florida, which has a large number of elderly residents, has reported approximately 1,461 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, according to data compiled by CNN.