On Friday, DeSantis discussed Fauci’s remarks about the state’s reopening. Despite the state becoming the country’s epicenter for coronavirus, the Republican governor insists there was no reason not to move forward with the state’s reopening, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“I think there was really no justification to not move forward,” DeSantis said.
During an appearance on FiveThirtyEight’s “PODCAST-19,” Fauci noted how failure to adhere to reopening guidelines and recommendations likely contributed to the surge in coronavirus cases.
Singling out Florida specifically, Fauci admitted that he believes some states “jumped over a couple of checkpoints.”
“Despite the guidelines and the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently, some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly,” Fauci said. “Certainly Florida … I think jumped over a couple of checkpoints.”
Despite DeSantis arguing that his state reopened properly, multiple reports signaled the possibility of impending red flags. Health experts in Florida also weighed in as the state reopened.
While some of the experts noted that DeSantis did have a substantial plan for reopening, others insisted that the plan may have been deployed too quickly.
Dr. Les Beitsch, who served as Florida’s Deputy Secretary of Health in 2018, noted that the state only had one opportunity to reopen properly.
Like Fauci, Beitsch also stressed the level of difficulty that would come with trying to quell an accelerated spread of the virus once the state reopened.
“Once you reopen, it’s difficult to have a time out. It creates a serious concern about people’s trust in their leadership,” Beitsch said. “And if you’re incorrect, the consequences could be catastrophic.”
Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves also previously weighed in on Florida’s reopening, noting the high “chances of reoccurrence” if reopening was not executed properly.
“If this were based on the science,” Gonsalves said, DeSantis “would realize that the chances of recurrence, even if we do all the right things, is very likely to happen once, or more than once, over the next year or two until we have a vaccine.”
As of Saturday morning, there are more than 244,000 known coronavirus cases in the state of Florida. Despite the continued rise in coronavirus cases, DeSantis previously insisted he will not close the state again.