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Governor Ron DeSantis

Health Care worker's hands holding COVID-19 testing kit.
Manatee County Government

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

Horse on a farm field
iStock

Some counties in Florida have reported no -- or very few -- cases of coronavirus, a reason Gov. Ron DeSantis cited Wednesday for waiting so long to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.

But Jerne Shapiro, an epidemiologist and lecturer at the University of Florida, says the lack of testing – particularly in rural areas – means low numbers may not reflect the real number of infections.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Fresh Take Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said that Florida's Surgeon General Scott Rivkees will be issuing a new health advisory in response to the coronavirus.

People 65 and older, and anyone with underlying medical conditions, will be asked to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

Dentist and patient discussion about planned teeth treatment in dental clinic office
iStock

As COVID-19 continued to spread, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting any unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency medical procedures in Florida.

But dentists, like other medical professionals, are still able to see patients in critical condition at this time.

COURTESY: FLORIDA CHANNEL

Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering anyone flying into Florida from the New York Tri-State Area where there's a high prevalance of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Investigators Blame Spread Of Coronavirus, Two Deaths At Broward Facility On Employees

Mar 20, 2020
Exterior of assisted living facility with vehicles in front of it
Google Maps

Two residents of a Broward County assisted living facility have died from COVID-19, and at least five more have tested positive for the virus after it was spread by people who worked there, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.

DeSantis sounded exasperated that one facility serving seniors had so many infections.

Sorry we are closed sign board hanging on a door of cafe
iStock

In the latest move to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday closing all Florida restaurants and food establishments to on-site customers.

However, they still may run their kitchens to provide delivery or take-out services.

Seminole Hard Rock building
Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Despite one Tampa Bay area politicians' calls for it to shut down for 30 days due to the danger of the oronavirus, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa remains open.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor's Office

Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that supply delays are slowing the state's ability to ramp up testing for COVID-19.

Gov. DeSantis Announces Loan Program For Small Businesses Affected By Coronavirus

Mar 16, 2020
empty record store aisle with albums on one side
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that Florida will offer $50 million in loan programs for small businesses being adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus.

News about the coronavirus loomed large as Florida senators debated the confirmation of Scott Rivkees as the state’s surgeon general.  Rivkees has been acting as surgeon general since Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him last year, but lawmakers didn’t make it official until now.

Woman speaks at podium with military members behind her
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

Florida officials continue addressing the growing danger of the coronavirus.

In response to Governor Rick DeSantis signing a state of emergency declaration Monday, Attorney General Ashley Moody activated Florida's price gouging hotline Tuesday.

Florida Leaders Okay $25 Million For Coronavirus

Mar 8, 2020
Florida legislature
myfloridahouse.gov

House and Senate leaders announced Saturday they have agreed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s request for $25 million to help the state combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

two men talk, one with his hand raised to make a point
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva on Saturday blasted a plan that would give Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration the power to randomly audit private businesses to ensure they are not hiring undocumented workers.

Man speaking
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and University of South Florida President Steven Currall all addressed a controversial university consolidation plan for the first time Thursday.

While neither DeSantis nor Oliva endorsed the move, both like the money-saving aspect of the plan. They're also both open to another merger alternative: the University of South Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he has created a new organization to help reduce the state’s recidivism rate through increased investment in career readiness training and community re-entry programs for inmates.

Florida wildlife officials moved quickly Wednesday to try to close a “loophole” that allowed a citizen of Saudi Arabia to legally buy a handgun and ammunition used to kill three people Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in his element when he gave the opening speech last month at the national convention of the Federalist Society, the organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers.

6,300 Acre Wetland Area Opens To Protect St. Lucie River From Algae

Nov 9, 2019
Governor's Press Office

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday another rescue for Florida’s waterways from toxic algae.

He celebrated the flow of water east of Lake Okeechobee into a new wetland aimed at cleansing the water before it reaches the delicate St. Lucie estuary.

DeSantis To Join Trump At Villages Event

Oct 2, 2019
Then Rep. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump speak in front of a large crowd at a July 31, 2018 rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis will be on hand when President Donald Trump visits friendly turf Thursday in The Villages, but two of the president’s other closest Florida allies won’t accompany him.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters and Congressman Matt Gaetz have prior commitments and will not be able to attend the president’s event, which is happening in the midst of a U.S. House impeachment inquiry into the president.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a podium at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples.
Mike Kiniry / WGCU

Governor Ron DeSantis made a stop at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples on Wednesday to announce that he wants more funding for Everglades restoration in next year’s budget, and to guarantee that funding level for the following two years.

He also said he wants to increase penalties for municipalities that pollute Florida waters.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Monday morning at a press conference about Hurricane Dorian at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
Gov. Ron DeSantis' Facebook page

With powerful Hurricane Dorian at a near standstill over the Bahamas, Florida officials impatiently waited and completed preparations Monday as the historic storm was forecast to deliver a blow to the state’s East Coast.

DeSantis Redistributes Election Security Money

Jun 17, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis stands at a podium surrounded by officials as he announces a plan to evaluate the security of Florida's elections systems.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

A month after learning Russian hackers breached elections systems in two Florida counties in 2016, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said his administration is focused on identifying “any vulnerabilities” ahead of next year’s elections.

The Republican governor announced he is redistributing $2.3 million in election-security money that went unspent by county elections supervisors last year. The funds are in addition to $2.8 million for elections cybersecurity Florida lawmakers earmarked in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

Governor Ron DeSantis speaks about computer science funding at Ridgecrest Elementary School in Largo Monday.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

Governor Ron DeSantis was in the Tampa Bay area Monday to hail the state legislature's $10 million investment in computer science teachers across the state of Florida.

During his visit to Ridgecrest Elementary School in Largo, DeSantis said it's the largest one-time funding of these teachers in the nation.

Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at podium on high school lawn
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

Beginning in July, Florida police can pull over drivers they suspect of texting while driving. That’s according to a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with reporters after the 2019 legislative session comes to an end.
News Service of Florida

Crediting himself with “changing the conversation on a number of things” during his first legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday his agenda contributed to Republican lawmakers passing policies with broad appeal.

DeSantis To Lawmakers: Be Bold On Big Issues

Mar 5, 2019
The Florida Channel

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave an anti-tax, pro-environment State of the State address Tuesday, asking lawmakers to be bold as they tackle issues like education, school safety and health care.