TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Democratic leaders in Florida are demanding Gov. Ron DeSantis manage the health crisis of the deadly coronavirus before reopening our state's economy.
On Monday, the lawmakers called for national mass testing before President Donald Trump and DeSantis begin the reopening process.
"Right now, Florida is competing with every other state," said U.S. Rep Donna Shalala. "All of our hospitals are competing against each other. This is no way to stop virus, to squeeze this virus down to starve it."
Rep. Shalala is calling for leadership in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. to develop a system to fairly distribute testing and make it widespread.
In a conference call on Monday, State Sen. Lori Berman agreed, but added there needs to be accessible antibody testing before loosening social distancing restrictions.
"I, along with everyone else, would like to resume our lives the way they were before the pandemic," said Berman. "We all want to get out and be able to participate, be with our families and go to large gatherings. But I know that absent widespread, accessible and accurate diagnostic antibody testing in Florida, reopening our state and realizing social distancing will jeopardize the health and safety of our residents."
Gov. DeSantis said in his first meeting with the Re-Open Florida Task Force on Monday that antibody tests are coming.
Rep. Brian Mast said recently that people should be allowed to gauge their own risks.
"My opinion is that we are not moving into this too quickly," said Mast. "I think this is something, as I just said, I think we are all a great deal more educated in terms of how we do with this."