DeSantis remains quiet as state surpasses 900,000 COVID-19 cases

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: WINK News)

The COVID-19 crisis is getting worse by the day in Florida, with nearly 8,000 new cases reported Wednesday – and still no response from Tallahassee on this most recent surge.

WINK News is once again asking where is Gov. Ron DeSantis and his pandemic response in a time when people are looking to their leaders for guidance?

Reporter Morgan Rynor has gone through all of the appropriate channels. She has emailed and called DeSantis’ press office, called his press secretary directly and even tweeted at him.

It isn’t just Rynor and other reporters statewide he’s ignoring – it’s you.

After months of high visibility, he decided to step out of the spotlight when a hurricane hit Florida and COVID-19 cases started to rise.

Two times since the election, we’ve seen DeSantis in public. Both times he told reporters, “I’ll be back to take questions probably sometime before the week ends, thank you.”

He never did come back. Not when he celebrated how Florida handled counting votes, or when he took in the swearing-in of our new legislature.

“He left the House floor and literally was being followed by people asking him questions, and he was going as fast as he could to get away from them and to get behind locked doors again,” said Gwen Graham.

She served with DeSantis in Congress and ran against him for the governorship in 2018. Why would he avoid the spotlight now after he was so visible for months?

“I think because he is being asked tough questions and he does not do well under pressure,” Graham said. “That would be a massive understatement, and therefore it’s uncomfortable for him; it’s extremely uncomfortable for him to be in the public eye. So he’s hiding now.”

It’s not just avoiding talking about the election or the rise in COVID-19 cases, but he didn’t talk to the public as Hurricane Eta made its way around our coast and made landfall near Cedar Key.

“He is not doing what the governor of a state is supposed to do, which is to have the confidence and the ability to stand in front of the people in Florida and help guide us through these very, very difficult situations,” Graham said.

The Republican chair of Lee County, Jonathan Martin, said he commends DeSantis for not seeking the public light and attention.

Graham said it’s the governor’s job to do that.

Also on Wednesday, five mayors from around Florida said they were extremely concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state, and begged Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his approach to the virus in hopes of slowing the spread.

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