Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber criticized the Republican governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis as the COVID-19 “Pied Piper” who is “leading everyone off a cliff.”
Gelber criticized the governor’s opposition to COVID-19 health measures, including masks, even as the state has become an epicenter for soaring delta variant COVID-19 cases.
“The governor has made it as difficult as possible to make people safe,” Gelber told CNN on Saturday. “He’s like the piper who leads everyone off a cliff right now letting them know they don’t have to like the CDC. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]They don’t have to wear masks, they can do whatever they want when we’re in the middle of a huge pandemic. “
He spoke when Florida recorded its highest number of COVID cases in a single day since the pandemic began: 21,683, according to federal health data, The Associated Press reported.
On Sunday, it recorded its highest number of COVID hospitalizations in more than a year – 10,207 people with confirmed cases, according to data reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Florida now leads the nation in per capita COVID hospitalizations -19.
Gelber said city officials are “trying to do everything possible to circumvent the wrongful wishes of the governor.” Even “the local Republican mayors are on the same side as me,” he added. “They want to save the lives of the residents.” But the “dogma” promoted by DeSantis has “paralyzed” local leaders and even local masked mandates, Gelber noted.
“We are not allowed to have mask mandates now,” Gelber said. “We were one of the first cities to demand it and we charged a fine just for people to do it. The governor stopped allowing us to do that, and we immediately saw an increase in our county and state when he did that, ”he noted.
DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday that prohibits schools from requiring masks for all returning students this month, despite growing cases that appear to be affecting younger people and children. The order was promoted as “guarantee parental freedom of choice. “He stated in a statement that” many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies. “
DeSantis told a news conference after signing the order that he is not masking his own young children. “I want to see my children smiling. I want them to have fun, ”he said.
Florida is experiencing an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami on Friday 17 children admitted with COVID-19, including six in the Intensive Care Unit and one on a ventilator.
The CDC recommends that students and staff in K-12 schools wear masks in the classroom regardless of their immunization status.
See Gelber’s full interview in the clip at the top.
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