Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking a small bit of flak from Team Reality for extending the state’s state of emergency order another 60 days on the same day last week that Tennessee’s Bill Lee lifted his and overtly required local mask mandates to end in the few remaining counties where they still existed, but those critics are missing the bigger picture.
It’s not that Florida did everything perfectly according to what most of us would have done. They didn’t, not by a long shot. While a handful of states never shut down at all at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida did. And while DeSantis to his credit never issued a statewide mask mandate and even later laudibly voided any local penalties for noncompliance, he also allowed local authorities to impose them in the first place. But when the Florida governor made the decision to open up his state in September, he went full-tilt and never looked back, even in the face of the fall and winter wave that saw most of the nation, regardless of masking or restrictions, experience record-high virus spread.
For that, Ron DeSantis received seemingly unending criticism from Dr. Anthony Fauci and other