Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID Response: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery

Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID Response:
Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. 
Plan for Florida’s Recovery

May 4, 2020

Gov. DeSantis meets with President Trump
Last Monday kicked off a very busy week for  Governor Ron DeSantis who met with the President of the United States to  discuss Florida’s methodical and data-driven approach to the COVID 19 pandemic.  He shared data points, and best practices that have helped the state flatten the curve.  The Governor also took the time to applaud Floridians, healthcare workers and all those who played an important role in keeping Floridians safe.  The Governor visited the White House for a discussion about how states can reopen their economies after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step
On Wednesday, in a televised news conference, at the Florida Capitol, Governor DeSantis, announced his phased, methodical and data-driven approach to re-opening Florida on May 4.  During his address Gov. DeSantis said it has been a tough two months for our state and country and that despite the coronavirus being a formidable enemy, especially for our elderly and medically vulnerable populations, that Floridians are resilient.

Gov. DeSantis shared, “… we’ve lost Floridians, which is never an easy thing, but it’s been made all the more difficult by the fact that due to visitor restrictions at hospitals, they were not even able to say goodbye to their loved ones.”


PHASE I Re-Opening

During this week’s address he also outlined his Re-Opening Florida plan and stressed that it allows Florida to take a step; small, deliberate, methodical, and based on consultation with some of the state’s greatest physicians, towards a more hopeful future. Phase I, will for the time being, exclude Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm beach counties until the data shows otherwise. We all agree with the Governor that there is light at the end of the tunnel. One of his top priorities is protecting Floridians, while also focusing on a Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step plan to economic recovery.

The Plan has seven guiding principles: (1) Public Health and Safety, (2) Health Care System readiness, (3) Protection of the Vulnerable, (4) Economic Recovery, (5) Protection of Civil Liberties & Maintaining Individual Rights, (6) Public Confidence, (7) Partnership with Local Communities.

To read the Governor’s Executive Order on Phase I click here.

Graphic from @FLGOPMajority

Governor DeSantis launched a new drive-through testing site in Escambia County.

Governor DeSantis held a press conference Friday with Congressman Matt Gaetz and Florida National Guard Adjutant General James Eifert to announce a new drive-through testing site in Escambia County. The drive-thru site is able to test up to 400 individuals a day for individuals over the age of 18 regardless of symptoms.

Governor DeSantis announces limited re-opening of state parks for active recreation.

Also on Friday, Governor DeSantis held a press conference at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville and was joined by Mayor Lenny Curry where he announced that as of today, 80 Florida State Parks will open access to trails, and some day use areas, including some beach access with limited facilities. For list of parks please click here.

Orlando Small Business Roundtable — Salons, Barber Shops

The Governor also had a very busy weekend and made his way to Orlando on Saturday where he hosted a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the OhSoooJazzy Hair Salon in Orlando. The business leaders and community leaders discussed the steps that would need to be taken to safely reopen barber shops, hair salons and nail salons. To watch the roundtable discussion please click here. After the roundtable discussion, the Governor and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings held a press conference where the Governor discussed latest testing data, and highlighted the state’s and Orange County’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Video of the press conference can be found here.

Elective Surgeries

And just yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis made his way to Daytona to talk about Phase I of his Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery. The Governor met with doctors and health care professionals regarding elective surgeries resuming in hospitals on May 4, 2020.


Quotes of the Week

President Donald Trump: 
“But this is a good example of a partnership between the federal government and a state government. Ron has been great and some of your friends, some of the other governors have done a good job, and some haven’t done a very good job. I’ll be honest with you, some have not.”

Congressman Dan Bishop:
“I think it’s time to get North Carolina back to work. We’ve had 700,000 jobs lost. I think one of the better models are those like Governor DeSantis in Florida, Governor of Texas, are getting started now. It’s time to do that in North Carolina.

Dr. Deborah Birx:
“The Governor described a really important insight, he went where the virus could cause the most damage to human beings. And so he went into the nursing homes to really proactively test.” 

Governor Ron DeSantis:
“Fear is our enemy… Now we’re resourceful people with a can-do spirit. We can do what we need to do to protect our vulnerable populations from the coronavirus while taking safe, smart steps toward rebuilding Florida.”

Dr. Janette Nesheiwat:
“Governor DeSantis is doing what every state in every Governor should do. Planning and preparation guided by data, slowly phasing the reopening of the economy. He’s focusing on… African-Americans, Hispanic Latinos, ensuring contact tracing and testing is available. I think he’s doing all the right things, moving in the right direction overall.”

Bill Bennett — Former United States Secretary of Education under President Reagan:
“The tale of these two states, New York and Florida, illustrates that perhaps the media should have been less adulatory of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and given Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis more attention. Instead, the facts and statistics reveal the media got this backward.”



Gov. Ron DeSantis on how Florida effectively handled coronavirus pandemic without draconian lockdown orders:

Governor DeSantis tailored and measured approach:

Mayor Curry Thanks Governor DeSantis for his Leadership:

What They Are Saying

Florida Leaders Applaud Governor Ron DeSantis’ Plan for Florida’s Recovery

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said
, “The health and well-being of Florida’s residents continues to be our highest priority, but we also recognize that Florida’s economy has been negatively impacted as a result of this pandemic. Today, under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, we are taking a strong step in the right direction towards prudently re-opening our state. I’m grateful to be a part of such an incredible undertaking and look forward to seeing Floridians thrive once again.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his commitment to Florida’s law enforcement community and for keeping the needs of our first responders in mind while making difficult decisions regarding public safety and the COVID-19 pandemic. This health crisis will continue to present unprecedented challenges, but no matter what is thrown at them, Florida’s brave law enforcement officers always answer the call of duty to protect the communities they love.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “As we move forward with COVID-19 recovery efforts and the re-opening of Florida’s economy, I look forward to ramping up our hospitality, retail, and tourism industries and ensuring Floridians can get back to work safely. As we re-open, it is vital that we work to protect our Triple-A bond rating and safeguard our state’s overall fiscal health. I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership in protecting the health and safety of our communities while working to ensure we safely reopen our great state. Floridians are resilient and we are in this together.”

Senate President Bill Galvano said, “The Safe, Smart, Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery announced today by Governor DeSantis represents a fact-based, strategic and measured approach that responsibly balances the resilient spirit of hardworking Floridians across our state who are eager to return to work with sensible and science-based public health guidelines developed in conjunction with medical professionals. While no function of government is more important than the safety of the people we serve, it is also imperative that we protect the rights of Floridians to exercise their liberties and earn a living. I was honored to serve on Governor DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force and appreciate the critical work the Governor and his team undertook to develop strategies that will help our fellow Floridians and our economy recover as quickly as possible, while maintaining a focus on public safety as our number one priority.”

House Speaker Jose Oliva said, “This is a strong first step on our path back to normalcy. I commend Governor DeSantis for his continued efforts in returning our great state to prosperity through thoughtful and deliberate methods. The Governor has guided us through this crisis with results that far outperformed the models as well as other states. I am confident his leadership will return us to a thriving Florida.”



Graphics to Share


State of Florida Resources 

News Roundup

DeSantis announces Florida will start opening businesses Monday with restrictions

Joe Gruters praises Ron DeSantis’ phased approach for reopening Florida

Bennett & Leibsohn: Coronavirus response — compare Florida with New York, and look at the results so far.

We are ready to open: Health experts join Ron DeSantis as reopening nears

DeSantis: Florida’s positive corona virus test rate drops in half in less than two weeks

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Welcomes Sports Back to Florida, Fan Attendance Possible in June

Poll: Floridians largely approve of Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, share cautious approach

Re-Open Florida Task Force recommendations would ramp up economy

Small business group praises Gov. DeSantis for plan to begin reopening state

DeSantis fires back at coronavirus critics, says Florida didn’t have issues other states did

Ron DeSantis encourages Floridians to go to hospitals without fear

State opens 10th COVID-19 drive-thru test site in Pensacola

DeSantis announces reopening of state parks beginning Monday

Gov. DeSantis works toward reopening Florida hair salon after roundtable discussion

Gov. DeSantis: Antibody kits have arrived and testing is coming

Governor vows to work toward reopening Florida hair salons soon

Walk-up COVID-19 testing to be held in Pensacola

Coronavirus: DeSantis says hospitals ready for return of elective surgeries during Daytona visit


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