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Politics / Issues

Pence In Orlando: Businesses To Reopen 'Sooner Than Most People Think'

Protest sign
Unite Here
Disney World workers protested Florida's unemployment system from their homes across Orlando.

Vice President Mike Pence is describing Florida as a national leader as across the country states are taking gradual steps toward reopening their economies.

He met Wednesday in Orlando with tourism and hospitality leaders about restarting Florida’s lifeblood industry.

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

The vice president struck an assured tone as he pointed to data trends that he said show the coronavirus is easing its grip on the quarantine-weary country.  

“I’m more confident than ever that sooner than most people think we’re going to open up again and put America back to work.”

He heard from Gov. Ron DeSantis and representatives from all of Central Florida’s major theme parks, who said they are ready but acknowledged reopening fully will take time.

One representative from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said of some 1.5 million hospitality workers, nearly 1 million have been laid off.

Meanwhile DeSantis said evidence showing the coronavirus does not spread as well outdoors means it’s time to consider fully reopening theme parks.

DeSantis cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in saying new evidence also shows the virus also does not spread as easily in water.

“I think there’s going to be some people going down the slide at Universal and the Disney Parks and some of these other ones hopefully very soon.”

Walt Disney World is planning to reopen the rest of Disney Springs next week.

Disney’s George Kalogridis made the statement during the meeting that came on the same day some shops and restaurants in Disney Springs reopened.