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The state of Florida has been front and center in discussions about the United States pandemic response. Nationally, people criticized Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for his choices.

As much of the country shut down, DeSantis kept beaches open for partying spring breakers. Florida was a hold out on issuing stay-at-home orders for weeks.

In April, the Miami Herald editorial board called DeSantis out for his mismanagement of the state's pandemic response. Now they've been joined by the Sun Sentinel.

In an editorial published Wednesday, July 29, the Sun Sentinel made it clear where they stand on DeSantis and masks.

Titled "Help us out, Gov. DeSantis. We're dying here," the editorial pointed out that DeSantis donned a face mask to meet Vice President Mike Pence, but had yet to issue a face mask order for the state.

They wrote:

"He should back up the photo-op with a sensible and long-overdue statewide mask requirement."
"With each passing day, [the pandemic] continues to careen out of control in Florida. A record 216 deaths were reported Wednesday. That broke the previous record of 191 deaths, reported just Tuesday."

After making the point that continuing to keep businesses open without a mask mandate could lead to another shutdown, they wrote:

"Your refusal to impose a mask order—a requirement now in effect in 32 other states—is out-of-touch with the mainstream. A new Quinnipiac poll found 79 percent of Floridians support a mask requirement, including 60 percent of Republicans."
"If that's not a mandate, what is?"
"Your daily upbeat message is hopelessly at odds with what Floridians are going through. You make it sound like everything is headed in the right direction. But it's not."





The Sun Sentinel added national reaction to Florida's pandemic response.

They wrote:

"Because the rules are different here, at least 12 states have singled out Floridians for 14-day quarantines should we dare to fly north to escape the heat and whatever lurks in the air."
"Who can blame them?"
"Florida now boasts the second highest number of cases per 100,000 people, with 2,008. That's more than New York, at 1,690; Illinois, 1,365; Texas, 1,345; and California, 1,164."
"Florida is second only to New Jersey with 2,018, according to the CDC's [pandemic] Data Tracker."

Of course anti-maskers had their own opinions.

But their comments didn't go unanswered.




The Sun Sentinel also addressed the numbers in Broward County in their editorial.

They wrote:

"True, Broward's number of daily new cases has improved from a cataclysmic 1,363 on July 15 to an abysmal 1,207 on July 28."
"One reason why Broward's numbers may have peaked is because the county and its cities are getting tough with defiant people who take their cues from your reticence."


After pointing out that businesses, cities and counties have been dealing with individuals who ignore their mask orders, the Sun Sentinel concluded:

"A lot has been learned about the [pandemic] over the course of these five long months, including this: When it comes to masks, asking nicely doesn't always work."
"The science is clear: Face coverings reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and can save lives."
"Issue a mask mandate, governor. If you can wear one in public, so can we all."

Whether DeSantis finally responds to his constituents demands remains to be seen.