Mayors warn Gov. Ron DeSantis of dire consequences if state doesn’t change COVID-19 course

A cohort of mayors from the southern portion of the state is urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his hands-off approach to COVID-19 as infections continue to rise.

Miami Beach Dan Gelber led a virtual news conference Wednesday featuring four separate requests as local leaders begin bracing for a potential spike in hospitalizations. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández, Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan and Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar joined Gelber on the call.

“It’s unmistakably clear that Florida’s approach to managing this pandemic is failing pretty horribly,” Gelber said at the top of the call.

Gelber began by proposing a statewide mask mandate, as described in a letter the mayors are sending to DeSantis.

“Across the country, governors of every political stripe are doing it,” Gelber said. “They realize that it is clearly, at this point, one of the few things you can do that allows you to open up the economy in a way that protects the public and reduces the spread.”

Not only has DeSantis refused such a call, he’s also blocked municipalities from enforcing regional mask mandates as the Governor has forced the state to reopen this fall.

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