Florida Democrats blast governor’s handling of virus crisis

Coronavirus
Ron DeSantis

FILE- In this March 23, 20202 file photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center front, arrives at a mobile testing site for a press conference Monday, March 23, 2020, in The Villages, Fla. The Villages, a retirement community, is one of the largest concentration of seniors in the U.S. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been walking a tightrope for weeks during the coronavirus crisis, trying to protect both Floridians vulnerable to the virus and the cratering economy in a state of 21 million people. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s congressional Democrats are blasting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ refusal to issue a statewide stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

They said Tuesday that DeSantis’ decision will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths, risk the health of doctors and nurses and threaten to overwhelm hospitals.

Florida now has at least 6,300 confirmed infections and 76 deaths.

The Democrats said the Republican governor must drop his county-by-county approach and follow other hard-hit states by closing all non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay home except for essential trips such as buying groceries.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Broward County told The Associated Press that DeSantis is acting strictly on politics, fearing that a statewide order would “piss off” his supporters.

DeSantis has defended his approach, saying businesses and workers in unaffected counties shouldn’t be punished.

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