Florida Gov. DeSantis “put politics ahead of lives”

Ron DeSantis arguably is the most execrable politician sitting in a governor’s mansion since Maine’s Paul LePage (both are Republicans).

Earlier this month, I wrote about DeSantis’s “swatting” of a former state employee who blew the whistle on his efforts to cover up the severity of Covid-19 in Florida (here and here) twice, because that’s how serious his invasion of a citizen’s civil rights was.

DeSantis is among the Republican governors who’ve obstructed Covid-19 safety measures the most, and pushed hardest to “reopen” his state’s economy despite the horrifying death toll of his state’s citizens from the raging pandemic:

“DeSantis has consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic, … denouncing mask mandates and restrictions on businesses. The governor has blocked local governments from enforcing their own measures to protect residents from coronavirus, and sidelined health experts even as he promoted questionable science,”

according to CNN‘s interviews with Florida officials and health experts.

“We’re putting politics in front of lives,” said one of the health officials, who asked not to be named to avoid retaliation. “We are being handcuffed and kept from keeping the public properly informed so they can make informed decisions to protect their lives and the lives of others,” CNN reported here.¬†Hialeah’s mayor, a Republican, told CNN, “I gave up talking to the governor a while back” because his calls and letters to DeSantis weren’t answered.

But it’s far worse than the governor just hunkering down; he’s controlling the agenda. “Unlike in many states,” CNN says, “Florida counties don’t have their own independent health agencies. Instead, county health offices are local bureaus of the state department” controlled by the governor and his political appointees. And he’s used that power to muzzle both discussion and response to the pandemic.

The bottom line is that Florida isn’t a safe place while the pandemic continues.

Photos: Florida has no shortage of people defying common sense

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