First up is Karol Markowicz who wrote in March of DeSantis that he’s “the Governor Florida Needs.” She continues:
Florida is having a unique moment. For nearly two years, since the moment Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened beaches, schools, and businesses, all eyes have been on the Sunshine State. No other state has faced similar scrutiny. No other politician has been similarly dissected.
DeSantis was right and other governors were wrong. We could not hide from COVID. We could not pause living because of COVID. It was freedom he was championing, yes. But it was also life. The acceptance of that rightness, even acknowledging it, has been reluctant at best. Even as other states followed Florida’s lead, in similar or worse COVID circumstances, recognition of DeSantis being correct all along has been hard to find.
The governor of Florida made tough decisions in opposition to common thinking. In our era of conformity, this was not an easy call. His policies exposed how other states deeply hurt themselves and damaged their residents, children in particular, for no reason at all.
His rightness has led to something else: DeSantis is nearly the entire conversation regarding the Republican nomination in 2024. Donald Trump is still a factor, of course, but those on the left imagine that they have already found a proven way to defeat him. Ron DeSantis will be harder to stop.
The main attempt so far had been labeling DeSantis “Trump 2.0” as The Week did in February, Salon did two weeks ago, and the New York Times, always a late adopter, did a few days ago. This is unlikely to work. It’s not that the two men don’t have similarities. They both use their hands when they speak, they both feel comfortable battling the media, and they’re both residents of Florida – disqualifying the idea that DeSantis would settle for being Trump’s running mate.
Among the many things that make them different is that DeSantis is famously involved in the minutiae of governing while Trump is more of a big picture guy. When DeSantis talks about why he lifted the restrictions in Florida, he explains that he looked at the data, looked at the science, and reached his conclusions. It was not for acclaim. He did the right thing for his citizens.
Next up is Selim Algar, who explains how DeSantis was able to turn Florida into a hub of tech business activity despite the pandemic. He writes:
The Sunshine State is the new Silicon Valley.
Florida solidified its standing as a national tech hub last year — adding more new companies in the sector than any other state.
According to a report from the trade group CompTIA, Florida added 2,715 tech businesses last year — ahead of both Texas and California.
Florida had the second-highest number of tech jobs added last year at 10,522 — second to Texas which gained 10,851 positions.
Much of Florida’s tech growth was concentrated in Miami, which added 2,072 positions in the field last year.
Finally, Charles Creitz reports at Fox News that DeSantis prevented the U.S. COVID response from ending up like Canada’s. He writes:
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his record on handling the COVID-19 pandemic, remarking that if he did not stand up to the continued overreach by the federal government, the U.S. as a whole would be as severely locked down and economically depressed as Canada.
While Florida is returning to normal with sporting events returning to full capacity, DeSantis reminded “Life, Liberty & Levin” host Mark Levin that children in the state had the benefit of in-person learning throughout the past schoolyear.
“You just have so many threats to freedom nowadays. And what we’re doing is we’ve essentially, ‘Katie, bar the door’ to protect Floridians and to protect their freedoms and opportunities. And you see it in a number of different ways,” said DeSantis, who himself recently topped former President Donald Trump in a prospective 2024 straw poll of conservatives.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed his policy keeping the U.S.-Canada border closed to most traffic outside of commercial activities for at least another month. Much of Canada is still under economic lockdown.
“We were the leading state fighting against coronavirus lockdowns,” DeSantis recounted. “I believe had Florida not done that, you would see the other states to have followed Canada, for example, [which] is still locked down.”
DeSantis claimed that if he had not continued to stand up to the Biden administration and the federal health bureaucrats at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, other states in the U.S. would not have that lead to follow.
He surmised that U.S. bureaucrats were hoping for a more Canadian-style environment for 2021 and beyond.
“I think that’s what a lot of these bureaucrats wanted to see in the United States. And we made sure that we lead in a different direction,” he said. He continued by noting how his decision to ban vaccine passports and winning in federal court against the CDC over their restrictions will allow the cruise industry to be able to operate this summer.
“They didn’t have authority to do that. All these experts said, ‘oh, you just have to do whatever the CDC says,’” he added.
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