TALLAHASSEE - Governor Ron DeSantis met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday to discuss a number of topics related to the coronavirus in Florida.
DeSantis said he is reviewing data collected by his Task Force and will be making an announcement on Wednesday on the next steps the state will take on reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. A 'stay-at-home' order is currently in place until April 30.
“For Florida going from where we are now to a phase one is not a very big leap,” DeSantis said while sitting next to Trump. He added that ”We’re going to approach it in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way.”
The governor, a longtime ally of Trump, was welcomed to the White House for a discussion about how states can reopen their economies after the COVID-19 shutdown.
“You look at some of the most draconian orders that have been issued in some of these states and you compare Florida in terms of our hospitalizations per 100,000 in terms of our fatalities per 100,000. I mean you go from DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio - you name it, Florida has done better,” Governor DeSantis said. “Everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy, and that has not happened.”
Only 50 people are currently in the hospital in Orlando with coronavirus, according to the Governor. He said that the state has 6,500 ventilators sitting idle, unused at the moment.
“This has been a good example of a partnership between the federal government and a state government,” the president told DeSantis. “Ron has been great. Some of your friends, some of the other governors have done a good job. But some haven’t done a good job, I’ll be honest with you.”
In addition, Jared Kushner, the Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, said that the United States as a whole has an overcapacity of ventilators, citing that we have "more than 10,000 and its growing everyday." President Trump confirmed that some of these will be going to help other countries, like Spain and Nigeria.
President Trump also asked Governor DeSantis if he would like a travel ban on any particular countries. While Florida usually has a huge number of international travelers, the governor said most of the virus spread has come from places like New York.
However, he did acknowledge that Miami is a popular destination for residents of Brazil and other Latin American countries and that could trigger another outbreak. He said airlines should be testing passengers before allowing them to travel and that if a country is seeding the United States, a ban should be done.
The meeting comes as Florida saw the largest single day of reported deaths on Tuesday.
With Florida’s curve flattened, many of the state’s counties are waiting for guidance from the governor on what steps they should take to reopen the economy.
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