Gov. DeSantis says 1 million masks will be sent out across state, defends stance on stay-at-home mandate

By: Michael Hudak | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 25, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (WCTV) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference at the State Logistics Response Center Wednesday morning a little more than 1 million masks will be sent out around Florida within the next week. He also reiterated that anyone 65 years or older and anyone with an underlying medical condition is highly encouraged to stay home.

During the press conference out of Orlando, DeSantis defended his stance on not issuing a stay-at-home mandate statewide, citing statistics from New York, which he called the world's new epicenter of the coronavirus.

DeSantis said the day before New York issued its stay-at-home mandate, there were just nine flights from New York to Orlando. The very next day, there were 29 flights and then 44 just days later, according to the governor.

He said a stay-at-home mandate causes people to flee, and he doesn't need to lock down the people who are already here. He went on to say he needs to stop people who are trying to get to Florida from "hot zones."

"There are certain parts of the state where you have more sporadic cases, and to order someone not to be able to earn a paycheck, when them going to work is not going to have any effect on what we're doing with the virus, that is something that I think is inappropriate," DeSantis said.

The governor also said that major sports stadiums, like TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens have turned into mass testing centers. DeSantis once again called coronavirus "the invisible enemy" and stressed the importance of keeping your distance from others.

Finally, he said the state is doing everything it possibly can right now to advance the testing that is in place.

You can watch the full press conference from Orlando, which was broadcast live on WCTV's Facebook page, below.

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