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Monday, December 21, 2020

Florida Gov. DeSantis vows to ‘hobble’ local leaders who try to shut down businesses for COVID safety

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 1:52 AM

click to enlarge He'll throw the book at ya. - PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • Photo by Joey Roulette
  • He'll throw the book at ya.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has staunchly defended his decisions to reopen businesses, bars and restaurants, moves that drew withering criticism from Democrats. He also has rejected requests to order a statewide face mask mandate and has banned local government officials from imposing penalties on people who don’t wear masks.

Vaccinations of frontline workers began on the same day state health officials reported more than 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths of Florida residents. The state has logged more than 1.1 million cases of COVID-19 since March.

As the virus continues to spread and COVID-19 hospitalizations climb, DeSantis doubled down last week on urging Floridians and visitors to dine out.

The governor bristled when a reporter said local officials were accusing DeSantis of hamstringing their ability to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus. DeSantis insisted that further restrictions would harm business owners and their employees.

“If a local leader wants to put them out of work, you’re damn right I’m hobbling them from doing that,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday at the Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, where he was flanked by restaurant workers. “If they want to shut down businesses, I’m going to stand in the way.”

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