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Gov. DeSantis Defends Jacksonville And Beaches Mayors

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a Monday news conference in Tallahassee.
PBS NewsHour

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is praising Duval County’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to reopen the local economy as safely as possible.

Monday evening DeSantis said that Duval’s decision last month to reopen its beaches for recreation-only prompted widespread criticism and dire warnings. He said none of criticism turned out to be warranted.

“The facts are that since this has happened, hospitalizations, ICU, rate of positivity, ventilators—that has all declined. Those people were wrong and the folks in Duval County behaved appropriately. I think apologies can be sent to City of Jacksonville, attention Mayor Curry. You may want to CC the mayors of Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach — but I won’t hold my breath on that happening.”

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

DeSantis said he’s pleased with the way Phase One of Florida’s reopening is going. He promised to give an updated assessment later this week.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.