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Task Force Recommends Stricter Virus Measures In Florida--Including Some The Governor Has Spoken Against

Lynne Sladky
AP Photo

A White House Coronavirus Task Force report for Florida recommends stricter measures for stopping the virus including mask wearing at all times in public, increased physical distancing by reducing capacity or closing indoor spaces at restaurants and bars and limiting gatherings outside of immediate households.

The Dec. 6 report obtained by the Center for Public Integrity also urges leaders to begin warning about the risks of gathering during the December holiday season.

They're measures Governor Ron DeSantis has spoken out against.

DeSantis has blocked local governments from collecting fines to enforce mask mandates. He also says he is not convinced shutting down businesses like bars and restaurants does much to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“If you look at all the Evidence—business closures all this stuff—look at what just happened in Europe. France locked down, Switzerland didn’t. Same viral curve—literally no difference," DeSantis said during a press conference earlier this month. "So you focus on protecting vulnerable people. You provide the resources to our medical and hospitals as they need it, but you don't shut down becaue the effects of that are profound."

DeSantis says for many, shutting down has done more harm than good. He points to increases in reports of substance abuse and calls to mental health hotlines.

“We’re only scratching the surface when you look at everything from mental health, drug abuse, all these other things—they’re just really, really harmful," DeSantis said.

Meanwhile, two newspapers last week sued DeSantis' administration for failing to make public weekly reports which provide recommendations and snapshots of virus conditions state by state.

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