Miami Herald urges governor to act 'like you give a damn'

Miami Herald urges governor to act 'like you give a damn'
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The Miami Herald’s editorial board on Sunday criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisNursing homes need increased staffing, not legal immunity The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump spotted wearing a face mask Florida set to proceed with 70-team youth baseball tournament this weekend MORE’s (R) response to the coronavirus crisis, urging him to act “like you give a damn” 

In an editorial, the board condemned DeSantis as a “timid leader in the face of the growing scourge” of COVID-19 cases, saying he is “working overtime to preserve our status as the world’s leading exporter of political comedy.”

The editors also encouraged the governor to look to California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomWatch live: California Gov. Newsom gives coronavirus updates Trump demands governors allow churches to open Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order MORE (D), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) for advice on taking “decisive actions.”

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“There is no operator’s manual for handling the most singular health threat in this country in more than a century,” it wrote. “But if there were, we would urge Gov. Gavin Newsom, of California, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of New York, or Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut to share it with Florida’s governor — quickly.”

The Herald’s editorial board did recognize DeSantis for removing a rule that Florida residents needed to actively be looking for a job to receive unemployment benefits.

They also encouraged the governor to join in the bipartisan request for more medical supplies, equipment and personnel. But the board added that the plea “may be too little, too late.”

During a Friday press conference, DeSantis gave House Speaker Jose Oliva (R) a baseball bat with the words “Slayer of the healthcare industrial complex” inscribed, which the editorial board called “inexcusably tone-deaf” in the midst of the deaths from the virus.

DeSantis has received particular criticism for his lack of action on the crowded Florida beaches. He closed the beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties late last week, but a Florida attorney is suing the governor to require all beaches to close.

He also closed gyms and fitness centers and ended in-dining service in restaurants Friday.

The Hill has requested comment from the governor's office.

Florida has reported 768 cases among Florida residents and 62 among non-Florida residents. Thirteen people have died in the state.