DeSantis Spokesperson Dismisses Criticism of Omicron Response


Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (D) criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) this week saying the governor has been absent from helping local communities against the fight from the omicron variant of COVID.

“Our residents, all Florida residents, should be outraged and they should ask the question, ‘Where is our state? Where is our governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now?’ When is the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing on COVID-19?” said Jerry Demings.

Despite the criticism, the omicron variant continues to be proven as the least severe COVID variant posing very little risk for serious illness.

Jerry Demings, the husband of Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10) who is running against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) in 2022, said local communities have been trying to figure things out on their own.

Demings said, the “new restrictions placed by DeSantis and the Florida Legislature on actions that can be taken by local governments and private businesses to combat the virus have made fighting the pandemic more difficult.”

In response, DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw told the Florida Capital Star that “Governor DeSantis has only limited the power of local governments to infringe upon individual rights, e.g. Mayor Demings cannot fine people who decline to cover their faces. If the mayor equates such theatre with “leadership”, he must not be following the developments in other parts of the country.”

The article where Demings was featured, published from the Associated Press (AP), did not disclose the hospitalization rate of omicron, but the daily case count. The author noted that Tallahassee Memorial Hospital has received lots of people wanting COVID tests and admits the patients have had “only mild or no symptoms.”

Pushaw dismissed AP’s article as biased.

“Fun fact: AP stands for American Pravda,” Pushaw said on Twitter.

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) also took to Twitter to call on DeSantis saying Florida has received “ZERO assistance from our governor.”

“Florida is seeing record rates of new COVID cases and ZERO assistance from our governor,” Crist said. “I’m calling on @GovRonDeSantis to deploy Florida’s National Guard to help our cities — we can’t afford to become the epicenter for the third time.”

The claimed “dire circumstances” of Florida’s COVID environment run counter to some of the most recent data from the New York Times. According to the Times, Florida’s average daily COVID death rate per 100,000 residents is 0.07 percent, which ranks third lowest in the nation.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Jerry Demings” by Orange County, FL. Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Florida State Capitol” by Robert Barlow. CC BY 3.0.




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