TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made his first public appearance in almost two weeks on Tuesday but did not take any questions.
The governor last appeared before reporters the Wednesday after the election. During that news conference, he criticized the national media for calling some states but not others and touted Florida’s handling of the election.
“We’re now being looked at as the state that did it right,” he said on Nov. 4.
DeSantis didn’t take questions during that news conference, but promised he would soon.
“I’ll be back to take questions probably sometime before the week ends,” he said.
That didn’t happen.
The governor has not addressed the state’s rising coronavirus cases. Florida health officials reported more than 10,000 new cases on Sunday – the highest single-day increase since July.
DeSantis also held no press briefings as Florida braced for Tropical Storm Eta, which slammed the state with strong winds and heavy rain. Eta made two landfalls in Florida.
But on Tuesday, 13 days after his Nov. 4 news conference, Gov. DeSantis made an appearance in the Florida Senate to watch as new senators and officers were sworn in.
“I am convinced your early actions to protect our elderly and our our most vulnerable populations helped avoid thousands of deaths. Governor, we thank you,” Senate President Wilton Simpson said.
As he walked across the Capitol’s fourth floor to the House chamber, we tried to ask what he’s been doing. He didn’t answer, once again promising more later.
“After. On the way back,” he said.
But he was another no show, seen leaving the chamber through a back entrance.
Democrats were happy to fill the void on why he’s been avoiding questions.
“The governor has not made one public appearance to talk about COVID-19 or unemployment in weeks and I feel like he’s trying to avoid the press,” State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) said. “He doesn’t want to address the fact that Vice President Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States and he’s trying to avoid any type of conversation about that.”
While the governor was praised during Tuesday’s session, he was also rebuffed by lawmakers. He had hoped lawmakers would have taken up his tough anti-rioting package, but he was told that will have to wait until next year.
The governor also chose to meet via phone to certify this year’s election results instead of in person on Tuesday morning.
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