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“DeSantis Is Letting Them Down”: Florida Governor Refuses to Act to Slow COVID-19 Surge, Hires Conspiracy Theorist For COVID-19 Research

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As COVID-19 resurges across the country, governors from both parties are re-implementing mitigation efforts, strengthening mask mandates, and encouraging Americans to celebrate holidays virtually to slow the spread.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken a different tack – ignoring pleas from public health experts and doctors across the country and refusing to implement any safety precautions to slow the deadly COVID-19 surge.

DeSantis obviously doesn’t take the pandemic seriously. He even hired a sports blogger, Uber driver, and conspiracy theorist from Ohio to perform the state’s COVID-19 research. DeSantis’ new staffer, Kyle Lamb, said, “I’m not an ‘expert.’ I’m not a doctor, epidemiologist, virologist or scientist.”

Lamb has made countless scientifically-debunked claims about COVID-19 including that masks don’t work, lockdowns aren’t effective, COVID-19 is part of a Chinese “biowar,” the flu is more deadly than COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment, and the virus isn’t dangerous to children.

All of that seemed to catch the attention of DeSantis, who has sidelined public health experts, refused to mandate masks, ignored the advice of epidemiologists, and suggested it doesn’t matter if elderly people pass away because Florida is “God’s waiting room” for senior citizens.

Over the weekend, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties increased by 44%. The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board called out DeSantis for his disturbing new hire and inaction on the pandemic: “[Floridians] need a governor who prioritizes public safety, science and the rule of law. Right now, DeSantis is letting them down.”

“It’s clear from his recent hire that Ron DeSantis trusts conspiracy theorists more than qualified epidemiologists,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Christina Amestoy. “If DeSantis continues this anti-science crusade, Florida could be in for a dark and deadly winter. DeSantis needs to start taking this pandemic seriously and act to slow the spread – lives depend on it.”