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Republican governors all over the country are taking care of their states regarding Covid-19 to mixed reviews. At least most of them aren’t crippling their economies or insisting on lockdowns. I can’t help bragging about Florida’s governor, however, because he does whatever he thinks is necessary—and he’s faced an irate CDC and has been denounced by the media.
Let me tell you about Ron DeSantis. While Gov. Andrew Cuomo was signing the death warrants for hundreds of senior citizens in New York when he sent them into nursing homes, Ron DeSantis protected the nursing homes until it was clear that residents could safely be visited. He has also defied the recommendations of Dr. Anthony Fauci, knowing that the good doctor wasn’t using the science at all, nor good sense, but was making political decisions. Most recently DeSantis was chastised for two decisions: the first was deciding to prioritize vaccines for the elderly. According to Peacock Network, this was clearly a political decision. I guess targeting the most vulnerable group is considered high politics.
A second decision was criticized when the governor set up “pop-up” vaccination centers in Manatee County for a community of elderly residents. (We had a similar vaccination center set-up in our 55+ community, and vaccinations were limited to those 65+.) He was criticized for ignoring federal guidelines and decided to offer vaccinations to the most vulnerable. I guess the critics believed that old people were more likely to vote Republican.
But my favorite story, which you probably haven’t seen in the mainstream media, happened in a farming community:
In early February DeSantis teamed with former NFL star Anquan Boldin to distribute vaccines in Boldin’s hometown of Pahokee, an impoverished farming community on the shore of Lake Okeechobee. More than 60 percent of Pahokee’s population is black, according to U.S. Census reports. Because the city is about 30 miles from the nearest Publix grocery store – one of the state’s primary vaccination distributors – most of the area’s seniors had little access to the vaccine, according to a report by The Palm Beach Post.
According to The Post, DeSantis was contacted about Pahokee by the state’s lottery secretary, John Davis, another former Pahokee football standout who had been talking with Boldin.
‘John came to me and said, ‘Is there any way we can make it happen?’ DeSantis said, according to The Post. ‘I’m like, ‘We need to make it happen.’
Gov. Ron DeSantis learned his lessons when he was a representative in Washington, DC. He has a clear understanding about the DC bureaucracy, and how they can try to push their power. And he doesn’t care. He’s trusted that his success in using good judgment and common sense in deciding next steps with Covid-19 would show his insight into what mattered to the people in Florida: successful policies that worked. He hasn’t ridiculed Washington in spite of their confusion and ineptness, but simply focused on the state and our needs here. He has let the wisdom of his actions speak for themselves.
And today, DeSantis announced that additional vaccines to be brought in by FEMA would be used to vaccinate teachers, cops, and firefighters over 50. Surely someone will protest that decision.
Governors (at least Republican leaders) should take note that acting according to the Constitution, which states that these kinds of decisions should be made at the state level (as Donald Trump stated) will benefit their stakeholders, the citizens of the states, if they will only free themselves from their fear of the federal bureaucracy and remember who their constituents are. DeSantis has been called one of the most popular governors in the country:
DeSantis now sits as one of the most popular governors in the country, enjoying a 58 percent approval rating, according to Morning Consult.
Another survey from GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio reported by Politico shows DeSantis as the most popular Republican in Florida, beating the state’s Republican senators in a hypothetical presidential primary match-up with 62 percent compared to 12 percent for Sen. Marco Rubio and 10 percent for Sen. Rick Scott.
We need to see this level of political courage from all our Republican leaders, and soon.
With his courage and defiance, I hope DeSantis will consider running for the Presidency in 2024.Published in