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Members of Congress urge Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue statewide 'stay-at-home' order

13 Florida Democrats say coronavirus 'will not respect county borders'
Posted at 2:06 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 05:37:42-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Some members of Congress are calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to enact a statewide shutdown amid the coronavirus crisis.

Thirteen Florida Democrats on Tuesday sent a letter to the Republican governor urging a "stay-at-home" order for the entire state "as COVID-19 continues to spread."

In their letter to DeSantis, the congressional delegation said they "appreciate" that DeSantis issued a "safer-at-home" order for Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Congressional letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis for 'stay-at-home' order by PeterBurke on Scribd

"However, given that there are over 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida, with the Department of Health reporting 523 new positive cases on Sunday, this order should be applied to the entire state immediately in order to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19," the letter said. "This pandemic has not respected global borders, so it certainly will not respect county borders."

DeSantis announced Monday that he was issuing a "safer-at-home" order for South Florida and the Keys to get "all four counties operating under the same sheet of music."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | We're Open South Florida

But the 13 Democrats in Congress believe the order doesn't go far enough.

"We cannot wait, and we cannot leave the decision to county and municipal governments," they wrote. "We urge you to immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives."

Among the lawmakers who co-authored the letter are former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, Ted Deutch, who represents portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties, and Alcee Hastings, whose district includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

DeSantis previously said there are pockets of counties in Florida that have no confirmed coronavirus cases, so disrupting businesses and lives in those communities would be "inappropriate."

As of Tuesday there were more than 6,000 confirmed coronavirus cases throughout the state, including 77 deaths.