Governors and other local leaders across the country have issued stay-at-home orders to their constituents in hopes of curbing the spread of the highly contagious virus that's caused a national health crisis in the United States.
But not every governor has followed this example.
Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been under criticism for weeks for his failure to issue a statewide stay-at-home order and for letting Florida's beaches remain open during spring break.
Florida is now nearing 7,000 cases statewide,
When pressed again about his refusal to issue a stay-at-home order, DeSantis pointed to the White House, saying:
"The task force is not recommending this. If they do, that's something that would carry a lot of weight with me."
People widely thought DeSantis was attempting to pass blame onto the White House.
DeSantis ran his whole campaign (for state governor!) on maniacally protecting Trump. Now he's fitting him for a pa… https://t.co/xZsEEpyJLX— southpaw (@southpaw)1585689299.0
@SamanthaJoRoth @lookner This is called buck passing.— Mash (@Mash)1585688839.0
Aside from being cowardly, this sets up an interesting blame game dynamic, given what's going to happen in FL over… https://t.co/vOmN9waI90— emptywheel (@emptywheel)1585692217.0
So Floridians can be proud they voted for a governor who can't think for himself. https://t.co/SvcW4wjtXl— ResistanceRules (@ResistanceRules)1585690130.0
The Republican governor of a state the Republican president must win in November explicitly blaming the president f… https://t.co/tAsuD4DVfK— Pé (@Pé)1585690353.0
At a Tuesday press briefing on the virus, President Donald Trump was asked about DeSantis's comments.
Trump responded by praising DeSantis for his so-called leadership, saying he's a "great governor who knows exactly what he's doing."
Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence commended DeSantis while emphasizing that these orders are managed at the state level, not by the federal government—essentially tossing the ball back to him.
It only led to more confusion.
Asked whether Florida should get tougher: Trump calls DeSantis a "great governor who knows exactly what he's doing… https://t.co/Fuucdt1lMS— Aaron Blake (@Aaron Blake)1585694404.0
Even though it looks like Florida is the next big outbreak, Trump called Ron Desantis "a great governor", despite f… https://t.co/aUPBrENqbf— Ripple 🌊 (@Ripple 🌊)1585694888.0
People were flummoxed at why DeSantis was waiting for permission from the federal government, when the federal government said it was letting states defer to their own judgment.
Feds: States should decide this on their own. Florida: Don't blame us, we're looking to the Feds. Me:… https://t.co/BmLCvsNXvK— Jeremy THANK YOU HEALTH HEROES Konyndyk (@Jeremy THANK YOU HEALTH HEROES Konyndyk)1585689990.0
One of the reasons why we're not going to flatten the curve for a long time is that Dear Leader's loyalists are sit… https://t.co/60jbMn9SDc— Aaron Cynic (@Aaron Cynic)1585688813.0
Totally not inconsistent at all.
For an exhaustive report on the Trump presidency from people who saw it firsthand, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.