GOP governor: Business over lives

This article contains news with liberal commentary.

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis abolished face mask enforcement and lifted restrictions on all businesses in the state, including restaurants and bars, on Monday, September 28, 2020, according to ABC News. Read story here.

Under DeSantis’ order, local authorities can maintain some restrictions, but can’t limit restaurant seating to less than 50% occupancy and have to to justify limiting occupancy to less than 100% capacity. DeSantis earlier announced the state would host a “full Superbowl” in February. A vaccine isn’t expected to be widely available before summer.

Florida so far has logged over 700,000 Covid-19 infections, with more than 14,000 deaths, and had nearly 2,000 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday. The state also has a high positivity rate in testing, indicating Covid-19 hasn’t been brought under control.

Republicans across the country have pushed for reopening the economy despite infection risks, and have been willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of business. In April 2020, in the depths of the pandemic, a GOP lieutenant governor in Texas, callously suggested sacrificing senior citizens and said, “There are more important things than living” (see story here).

Trump seems to think he can make Covid-19 go away by the sheer force of his will. Most other Republicans are more circumspect, but advocate a lax response to Covid-19, probably because of their slavish belief in leaving everything to free markets. Their thinking is to let people make their own choices, and if enough people who go to restaurants and bars get sick and die, then people will stop going to restaurants and bars. They’re against government trying to proactively save their lives, which is the thinking that drives Democratic policy.

But even in their free-market philosophy, Republicans drip hypocrisy. They want government to ban lawsuits against restaurants and bars by customers who do get sick and die. In Florida, those customers should keep in mind that just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s safe to do it. DeSantis is inviting them to risk their lives, and that’s all he’s doing. His policies haven’t made Covid-19 go away, they’ve made his state’s infection rates worse. Caveat emptor.

As for me, I won’t set foot in Florida. Too many idiots there (see photo below).

Photo: Scene in a Florida restaurant after health rules were lifted on September 27, 2020. This isn’t a room I want to be in, whether it’s allowed or not.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    With Florida’s number one industry beiing tourism perhaps Santos’s decision is not an unreasonable decision. Lot of livli hoods depend on an endless plate of shrimp or hot wings. A mouse has a castle there, and plenty of Americas military are based there. Parrot heads are thirsty and needing to hear their music.

    Entertainment and tourism are essential to Florida.