Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated he will keep restaurants open amid the pandemic and slammed New York City for suspending indoor dining as shocking photos show the state’s bars full of maskless people drinking and dancing.
On Tuesday, the governor defended restaurants at a press conference at Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, the oldest steakhouse in the state.
‘At a time when people in our service industries, particularly in restaurants, lodging and hospitality, have taken it on the chin, especially in some other states that are completely closed, we just want to send the message – some might shut you down . We want to pull you up, ”DeSantis said, throwing a jab at New York.
Florida restaurants, bars, and nightclubs were allowed to reopen at full strength in late September, despite the threat of the virus.
Shocking photos from this week show crowds of maskless young people drinking, crowds and revelers ignoring social distance protocols in bars and clubs.
On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he will keep restaurants open amid the pandemic and slammed states like New York for suspending indoor dining despite rising coronavirus cases in the state.
Which pandemic? Late Saturday night a busy scene is portrayed between the kitchen and bar of The Office in Delray Beach
Dance all night! Patrons portrayed maskless and danced closely to each other at Capones on December 10 in Fort Lauderdale
Long Wait Times: A view of a full line to get into the Tin Roof bar in Delray Beach on a Saturday night
Florida’s approach to dealing with the pandemic is very different from New York, which stopped dining indoors on Monday due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.
DeSantis said most new COVID-19 cases come from meetings at home, and he quoted a recent New York government report that found 1.4 percent of new coronavirus cases could be traced to restaurants and bars.
“ We need to understand that the vast, vast majority of infections occur in people’s homes, especially when people gather, so closing a restaurant to eat inside will result in more people doing so in private homes, ” DeSantis said.
Even if you think it is more than 1.4 percent, the correct response is to inform people about situations where you may be at higher risk. Not to stop. Let individuals make decisions about what they like, ”he added.
On Tuesday, the governor defended keeping restaurants open at a press conference at Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, the oldest steakhouse in the state.
DeSantis said he had met Okeechobee Steakhosue executives and some spoke of the importance of keeping their doors open during the pandemic. Server Theresa Hodgdon above
An outside view of Okeechobee Steakhouse, the oldest steakhouse in the state, above
“We’re here for you if you’re someone who’s a waitress or cook, or if you’re a family business – you’re an important part of our state,” DeSantis said.
‘You work people who work hard to make a living. You have every right to do so. You will have that right defended by the governor, ”he added.
Restaurant clerk Theresa Hodgdon, a single mother of two, wept during the press conference and thanked the governor for allowing the steakhouse to remain open.
The governor also noted that about 40 states have a higher rate of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions per capita than Florida.
As of Wednesday, Florida has registered more than 1,155,335 coronavirus cases and more than 20,200 resident deaths.
Get out of hand: Partiers fight late Saturday outside Budda Garden in Delray Beach
No social distance: crowds of people close together without masks in the photo at Capones on December 10 in Fort Lauderdale
Patrons are pictured packed close together at Capones on December 10
Florida has seen a steadily increasing COVID-19 cases since mid-October, a few weeks after the governor announced that the state was in phase 3 of its reopening, allowing restaurants and bars to run at full capacity in late September.
Florida has seen steadily rising COVID-19 cases since mid-October, a few weeks the governor announced that the state was in phase 3 of reopening, allowing restaurants and bars to run at full capacity by the end of September.
Now, the state reports an average of more than 9,000 cases per day. On Tuesday, the state reported a positivity rate of 9.28 percent.
This week, video footage surfaced from a DJ set and dance party at McSorley’s Peach Pub in Fort Lauderdale, showing dozens of people standing close together, many of them dancing without masks.
As of Wednesday, Florida has registered more than 1,155,335 coronavirus cases and more than 20,200 resident deaths. A group of revelers at McSorley’s Beach Pub in Fort Lauderdale above
Dancing All Night: A rendition of the overcrowded Hollywood Live Night Club in Hollywood, Florida this week above
Concertgoers danced all night without wearing masks and ignored social distance at the Rock n Angels bar and club in Boca Raton on November 22
Some nightclubs and bars were lined with long lines to enter and have seen customers dance up close together and hang out in groups without masks.
On Wednesday, residents of the John Knox Village in Pompano Beach were among the first residents of a long-term care facility in the country to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Nationwide, more than 16 million cases of coronavirus have been reported since the start of the pandemic and more than 306,000 people have died.