Florida gov says if White House recommended stay-at-home order it would 'carry a lot of weight'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump asserts his power over Republicans Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death The battle of two Cubas MORE (R) said Friday that a White House recommendation to implement a stay-at-home order would “carry a lot of weight” with him as he faces criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in his state.

“I’m in contact with them, and, basically, I’ve said, ‘Are you guys recommending this?’” DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday, referring to the White House’s COVID-19 task force. “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.”

DeSantis added in the press conference that he would follow any updated guidance from the White House’s guidelines and urged seniors and those with underlying medical conditions to stay home. 

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“You’re safer at home, and we want you to come out of this on the other side strong and intact,” he said.

The remarks come as DeSantis faces an avalanche of criticism from Florida Democrats over his response to the coronavirus, which has exploded in the state in recent weeks. 

DeSantis has issued a stay-at-home order for the southern portion of the state and required that any travelers from New York City, New Jersey and Louisiana self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Florida.

However, state Democrats have said the stay-at-home order should apply to all of Florida to prevent further spread of the highly infectious virus.

“I don’t know what part of pandemic the governor doesn’t understand,” Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Coronavirus Report: CDC Director Redfield responds to Navarro criticism; Mnuchin and Powell brief Senate panel Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE (D) told The Palm Beach Post

DeSantis has refrained from ordering people to stay at home statewide, claiming that businesses and workers in unaffected counties would be unnecessarily harmed.

More than 6,300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Florida, and 77 people in the state have died.