DeSantis held no press briefings during Tropical Storm Eta

Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Eta slammed into Florida twice this week, dumping torrents of rain on much of the state, causing damage to homes and businesses and knocking out power to thousands, and leaving at least one person dead—but Governor Ron DeSantis didn’t have much to say about it, at least on camera.

Although the governor issued a state of emergency, and held calls and briefings with several officials, there was little interaction with the public.

After appearing on the Weather Channel for an interview Wednesday, the governor largely disappeared from television, not holding a single press conference about Eta as it traveled up the coast and across the state.

When asked about the lack of press conferences, his press secretary Cody McCloud, provided the following statement to Capitol News Desk:

As Eta approached and impacted the state, Governor DeSantis was briefed by FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz and State Meteorologist Amy Godsey at the State Emergency Operations Center.

He held a call with Director Moskowtiz and county emergency management directors, and spoke with several law enforcement officials and state legislators in the impacted areas, including Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, Senator Jeff Brandes, and Senator-Elect Jim Boyd.

The Governor participated in a national interview with the Weather Channel to provide updates on Eta and sent over 10 communications as the storm was approaching and impacting the state.

He issued a State of Emergency for 21 counties in Eta’s path and requested a pre-landfall emergency declaration from President Trump, which the President granted, ensuring that critical federal resources would be made available following impacts from the storm.

Cody McCloud, Press Secretary for Governor Ron DeSantis

“When a hurricane was bearing down on my state, I was giving a press conference every few hours,” Sen. Rick Scott told Fox News Rundown in July.

Scott, the former Florida governor, had been asked about the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Although he didn’t mention DeSantis by name, Scott suggested better messaging would help the state in its fight against the virus.

“It comes down to this: Florida and every state has got to give people the information and let them know how they can protect themselves and talk about it constantly,” Scott said.

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