Speaking on CNN, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) for his administration’s COVID-19 response.
“Listen, frankly, at the beginning of this pandemic, he [DeSantis] was pretty good,” Gelber said. “He promoted local control, he complimented us, we complimented him, he used me in some of his promotional videos saying he was doing a good job and then he just realized it was a political opportunity and then he made this about some supposed freedom which, of course, it’s not.”
“We require vaccines for kids in school,” he added. “We require people to do things that don’t endanger their neighbors or strangers even.”
Gelber added that “the contributing factor to this great tragedy” has been that DeSantis has not treated the pandemic like “a health crisis or any other crisis like a hurricane when we all stand together and tell the public the same thing.”
“He has made this a wedge issue. And in a health care crisis when you make something a wedge issue and you divide the public so that half the public does one thing and half the public does the other, you get what we’re getting right now, which is variants still coming,” he said.
You can watch Gelber’s interview below.
Miami Beach @MayorDanGelber on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) handling of COVID:
“He has made this a wedge issue. And in a health care crisis when you make something a wedge issue and you divide the public … you get what we’re getting right now, which is variants still coming.” pic.twitter.com/0Vwipc3RM7
— The Recount (@therecount) January 3, 2022
DeSantis has for months been accused of downplaying the pandemic’s severity and undermining the recovery, allowing COVID-19 to spread unchecked in Florida, He has said that whether or not a person gets a COVID-19 vaccine comes down to “personal choice.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.