Shalala: 'Dangerous' for Florida to open beaches, golf courses

Shalala: 'Dangerous' for Florida to open beaches, golf courses

Rep. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaDemocrats face bleak outlook in Florida 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Pelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel MORE (D-Fla.) warned against reopening Florida’s beaches and golf courses during the coronavirus pandemic, saying Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisA newspaper crosses an uncrossable line to 'punish' a class of Americans Officials say starving manatees in Florida have begun to consume emergency lettuce Trans rights under attack: The persecution should stop now MORE (R) was not giving “clear direction” as localities and cities determine when to reopen.

“I think our governor is new. He's a rookie. He's being pulled in different directions,” Shalala said in an interview with The Hill’s Steve Clemons, adding that much of DeSantis’s attention was occupied with the state’s unemployment system, which she called a “disaster.”

“But again, we are not getting clear direction from him in which every part of the state is staying in place. This opening up of the beaches is dangerous,” she said. “The opening up of golf courses, in my judgment, makes no sense. We don't have a statewide strategy as such.”


Shalala credited mayors of cities including Miami Beach, Miami and Coral Gables, who she said have heeded advice from doctors and scientists.

“They are being much more restrictive, much more tough minded,” she said. “And they're all admitting we don't have the testing in place that we need to have in place before we open up.”

Shalala’s comments come the same day Miami-Dade and Broward counties announced the lifting of some restrictions on use of public spaces, including marinas, golf courses and parks.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R), who himself recovered from a bout with the virus earlier in the year, said the city is not yet prepared to reopen public spaces. When it is, he said, “we are going to be cautious ... our parks, our beach, which is Virginia Key, and marinas with strict adherence of social distancing of six feet or more.”