Florida Gov. describes state as ‘God’s waiting room’ at coronavirus briefing
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sparked outrage by referring to the Sunshine States as “God’s waiting room” during a briefing about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Florida is ground zero for the nursing home — we’re God’s waiting room,” DeSantis said Sunday, using an old joke about the number of retirees who flock to his state, WPLG Local 10 reported.
“We have a huge number of facilities, a huge number of residents,” he said, adding that Florida had acted swiftly to protect the elderly.
DeSantis said he realized from the beginning by paying attention to statistics from South Korea “that not all age groups were equally at risk for coronavirus” — and that deaths were occurring in “folks 65 and up.”
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo slammed the Republican governor for his “God’s waiting room” comment.
“Governor, this isn’t a time to do stand-up, it’s a time to stand up and lead,” she said in a statement.
His remarks also were condemned on Twitter.
“Then the FL state house has to be Satan’s waiting room for heartless governors,” Mary Walters wrote.
On Sunday, DeSantis also said at an Orlando medical center that parts of the state are now “on the other side” of the coronavirus outbreak.
He said he would soon announce whether he would lift edicts that shuttered much of the state’s economy, noting the “hysteria” in the early weeks of the outbreak has not materialized in Florida.
As of Sunday, the state had over 31,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,070 deaths.
“Florida has performed better than anyone predicted,” the governor said. “People should be comforted in knowing that all those predictions of hundreds of thousands of people hospitalized were not accurate, and it has just not been the case so that’s a good thing.”
With Post wires
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