Sen. Rick Scott: Why Florida will not levy lockdowns amid rising coronavirus cases

Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott defended Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision not to impose sweeping shutdowns as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike.

In a Thursday interview on "Fox & Friends," Scott urged that members of the state, local, and federal government "ought to stop mandating things" and "start just giving people good information" as the pandemic rages.

"That's what I did when I had hurricanes," he noted. "People are smart. Give them good information. Tell them where there is the spread of the virus -- the places that are at risk. If you tell me a restaurant has had patients or employees with coronavirus, I would probably avoid it for a while.

"So, give us information. You don't have to tell me to wear a mask. You don't have to tell me to shut things down. Give me more information," he asserted.

RELATED: DeSantis: Florida 'not going back' on coronavirus reopening, despite new case surge

On Tuesday, DeSantis, also a Republican, announced that the Sunshine State would not reimpose restrictions and lockdowns, saying that going backwards would cripple the economy without saving lives.

"We're not going back, closing things," he told reporters. "I don't think that that really is what's driving it, people going to a business is not what's driving it. I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that's natural. Obviously, you had a lot of different activities going on in different parts of the state. ... So that's just the reality.

"We're open, we know who we need to protect, most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what's going on, are just simply much much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups," DeSantis added.

While data shows that infections in Florida outpace new testing, the numbers also indicate that many of the newly infected are young and are not becoming seriously ill.

RELATED: Tracking coronavirus: Florida smashes single-day record adding over 10,000 new cases

However, the governor's statements come after his state recorded 25,000 new infections in just five days and 9,000 in one day alone last week. On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health reported that the state has added another 6,563 new cases with 45 more deaths. The state has no season almost 160,000 cases of COVID-19 since March with over 3,500 deaths.

In response, Florida once again prohibited the on-premises consumption of alcohol at bars.

"But, what they ought to be doing -- if you are elected in this country in every level, at the federal level -- give us more information about the vaccine," urged Scott. "Tell us the types of people who are getting sick. What therapeutics [there] were. At the state and local level, tell us where the cases are coming.

"Tell us if there is a big business or a type of business -- this is where we are seeing cases. Do you know what? People will avoid it for a while. But, we need to open our economy, get people back to work," he told the "Friends" hosts.

"And, by the way, the Democrats act like ‘Oh, it's okay to protest but you can't go to church.’ I mean, you have got CDC and W.H.O. – they have not been consistent with their message. We have got to be very consistent with the message and talk to people," Scott concluded. "People are smart. They’ll make good decisions. Trust us."

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