Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, state officials and Florida leaders representing small business, health care, education and various industries applauded Governor Ron DeSantis’ Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery. Governor DeSantis announced his phased, methodical and data-driven approach to re-open Florida during a press conference from Florida’s Capitol.

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said, “The health and well-being of Florida’s residents continues to be our highest priority, but we also recognize that Florida’s economy has been negatively impacted as a result of this pandemic. Today, under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, we are taking a strong step in the right direction towards prudently re-opening our state. I’m grateful to be a part of such an incredible undertaking and look forward to seeing Floridians thrive once again.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his commitment to Florida’s law enforcement community and for keeping the needs of our first responders in mind while making difficult decisions regarding public safety and the COVID-19 pandemic. This health crisis will continue to present unprecedented challenges, but no matter what is thrown at them, Florida’s brave law enforcement officers always answer the call of duty to protect the communities they love.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “As we move forward with COVID-19 recovery efforts and the re-opening of Florida’s economy, I look forward to ramping up our hospitality, retail, and tourism industries and ensuring Floridians can get back to work safely. As we re-open, it is vital that we work to protect our Triple-A bond rating and safeguard our state’s overall fiscal health. I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership in protecting the health and safety of our communities while working to ensure we safely reopen our great state. Floridians are resilient and we are in this together.”

Senate President Bill Galvano said, “The Safe, Smart, Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery announced today by Governor DeSantis represents a fact-based, strategic and measured approach that responsibly balances the resilient spirit of hardworking Floridians across our state who are eager to return to work with sensible and science-based public health guidelines developed in conjunction with medical professionals. While no function of government is more important than the safety of the people we serve, it is also imperative that we protect the rights of Floridians to exercise their liberties and earn a living. I was honored to serve on Governor DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force and appreciate the critical work the Governor and his team undertook to develop strategies that will help our fellow Floridians and our economy recover as quickly as possible, while maintaining a focus on public safety as our number one priority.”

House Speaker Jose Oliva said, “This is a strong first step on our path back to normalcy. I commend Governor DeSantis for his continued efforts in returning our great state to prosperity through thoughtful and deliberate methods. The Governor has guided us through this crisis with results that far outperformed the models as well as other states. I am confident his leadership will return us to a thriving Florida.”

Senate President-Designate Wilton Simpson said, “There is no doubt that Governor DeSantis set the right tone for the enormous task of reopening our state. First, he charged us with making sure that every decision was focused on protecting the health of Floridians, especially our most vulnerable and our front-line workers.  He gathered experts from all over Florida, instead of relying on Tallahassee. In my committee, we had experienced leaders in agriculture, healthcare, local government, and financial institutions. We learned about best management practices from people who are in the field and we learned creative ways to continue the business of Florida with meaningful safeguards. I believe the measured, practical, data-driven and incremental approach to opening Florida is the right course. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor DeSantis as we deal with the long-lasting impact of COVID-19.”

House Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our state with unprecedented challenges, but Floridians are a resilient people. Governor DeSantis understands that Floridians look outward, across the horizon, and toward the future. His plan to reopen Florida will allow us to once again move our state forward. I have every expectation that the Governor will take a thoughtful, metrics-based approach, and I know that ensuring the public health, safety and welfare of all Floridians is foremost on his mind. I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead to achieve those goals.”

Senator Rob Bradley said, “As we face this generation-defining pandemic, I thank the Governor for bringing a level-headed, balanced approach to the reopening of Florida. We will be back, sooner than anyone predicts, because Florida will chart its own course to recovery based on the Governor’s understanding that safety and prosperity don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

Representative Travis Cummings said, “Governor DeSantis has done an incredible job responding to this unprecedented health crisis. Through his calculated and data-driven approach, he has saved countless lives and put Florida on a great track to safely reopen with much success in a phased approach.”

Representative James “J.W.” Grant said, “Floridians have proven that a little personal responsibility goes a long way, as evident in the data. Governor DeSantis has struck the balance between protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Floridians, while preserving the individual rights that other states seem so eager to seize. As he looks to reopen Florida’s economy, I am thankful he will do so under that same guiding principle.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz said, “For the past 54 days, the Division has operated the largest 24/7 logistics response in state history, delivering supplies daily for the people of Florida. We went to battle for critical supplies and the PPE we sent out, and the testing sites that we’ve provided across the state have undoubtedly made a difference. As we enter the next phase, we will continue to provide around the clock support for our first responders, health care workers, and long-term care facility staff.”

VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young said, “I was proud to serve on Governor DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force and to present VISIT FLORIDA’s phased marketing approach to assist in the recovery of our state’s tourism industry. Florida’s travel industry is foundational to our economy, and due to the leadership of Governor DeSantis, our state is well positioned for recovery. Moving forward, VISIT FLORIDA will remain focused on maximizing our funding to benefit as many partners and communities as possible, so Floridians have the employment opportunities needed to support their families.”

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees said, “Under the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida’s response to COVID-19 has been swift yet deliberate. His data-driven approach to strategic decision making, coupled with his total commitment to both the needs of those impacted by this virus and public transparency, is successfully flattening the curve in our state. I am confident that, through his dedicated leadership, our state will continue paving the way in the fight against this threat to our most vulnerable Floridians while further establishing our public health professionals and first responders as national leaders in their respective fields.”

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said, “I applaud Governor DeSantis’ leadership throughout the COVID-19 emergency and collaboration with the task force for the strategic and safe reopening of the state. The family businesses and hardworking professionals that are the backbone of Florida’s economy depend upon these measures to enable them to get their businesses and livelihood back on track in order to support their families. These careful measures will ensure that hardworking Floridians can get back to normal.”

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew said, “Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Governor DeSantis has had a laser beam focus on protecting our elderly and medically vulnerable. Through his decisive leadership we stood guard at the door of long-term care facilities to fight against the virus and readied our health system for the worst. Because of the Governor’s efforts, Florida has saved lives and successfully battled this deadly virus. We have created a strong foundation of health care preparedness and protection of our most vulnerable. Our state is well positioned to begin the process of re-opening because of the thoughtful, deliberative and measured approach taken in meeting and responding to this unprecedented crisis.”

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said, “Governor DeSantis has made smart, data driven decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while focusing on our number one goal of keeping Floridians safe. When confronting any difficult decision, he always did so with compassion and grace, and continued to be a champion for Florida’s students and the educators who led the nation in distance learning. His plan will give Floridians the confidence to return to the workforce knowing their students will be safe and successful.”

Enterprise Florida, Inc. President & CEO Jamal Sowell said, “Today marks the first step in a united march toward a full recovery. The Governor listened to the concerns offered from all corners of Florida and it shows. This plan is rooted in science, tempered with concern for the vulnerable and a measured approach that other states will soon follow.”

Syd Kitson, Chairman of the Board of Governors for the State University System said, “I am thankful for Governor DeSantis’s strong leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the opportunity to serve on the task force. The State University System is taking a measured and thoughtful approach in developing plans for the fall semester, which could take on multiple scenarios, including on campus teaching, remote learning and a combination of both. We will be prepared to handle housing, food service, classrooms, social services, athletics, and all other requirements of our University System in whatever form that may take, and will fulfill our goals for safety and excellence.”

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said, “While Broward County was projected to become one of the worst affected areas by this pandemic, we have been able to avoid this by using a data driven and methodical approach to combating COVID-19. The leadership and residents of Broward County are united in this effort. Governor DeSantis has been a strong partner in this fight and I look forward to continuing to work with him and leaders across the county and state as we strive to get things back to normal and emerge stronger than before.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, “There’s no denying the negative economic impacts that COVID-19 has had on our county and our entire state. However, thanks to the hard work of so many Floridians, we have made great progress in flattening the curve, and we continue to consult with health and medical experts to protect our residents. We are ready to begin re-opening through a safe and thorough approach. I thank Governor DeSantis for working with us every step of the way and for his leadership these past few months.”

Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner said, “The past few months have been challenging, but Floridians have answered the call as they always do. Thanks to their efforts to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, we are well-positioned for the next steps to slowly re-open the state. I thank Governor DeSantis and his entire team for their collaboration throughout this process and I look forward to continuing to work with our state’s leaders as we remain in this fight together.”

John Couris, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital said, “Governor Ron DeSantis has implemented a data-driven and thoughtful approach to keeping Florida families safe during these uncertain times. Now, it’s time to re-open. He’s taking a measured approach to re-opening our state and getting people back to work while considering the health and wellness of those who are most vulnerable. We’re grateful to have had a seat at the table, and I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”

Dr. Sunil Desai, MD, President of Orlando Health Medical Group said, “Orlando Health fully supports Governor DeSantis’ plan for incrementally re-opening Florida. Since early April, we have experienced a consistent downward trend in the number of cases of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Orlando Health has always remained committed to caring for the Central Florida community in a safe and compassionate way.”

Dr. Wael Barsoum, MD, President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida said, “We are grateful to the Governor and to our state and local leaders for being open, transparent and data driven throughout this time. The healthcare system will continue to monitor and be prepared to ramp up services for any potential surges in cases if the need arises. We have great confidence in our fellow Floridians and ask that everyone remains vigilant and thoughtful while practicing social distancing as services reopen. Please be sure that you keep your health and the help of your fellow Floridians top of mind, if you feel sick, please do not go to work and be sure that you are tested”.

Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The U.S. Chamber commends Governor DeSantis’ focus on a guidance-based rather than regulatory-based approach to re-opening and his emphasis on ensuring that guidance is uniform across jurisdictions and not a patchwork of confusing regulations. This is the type of approach that will empower businesses to reopen safely and responsibly with a focus on protecting employees and customers alike.”

Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “Governor DeSantis allowed facts, not fear to lead the way, and as a result, Florida has an opportunity to show the world that we are a global leader in innovation and safety. Ninety-six percent of Florida Chamber members support a phased-in reopening of our economy, and that’s exactly the right type of measured approach Florida needs to regain the economic footing of the world’s 17th largest economy. Now is the time for local community stakeholders, including business, government, health professionals and Floridians, to collaborate on a gradual reopening that puts safety first, so that local businesses can operate without the fear of frivolous litigation. Thank you, Governor DeSantis. The Florida Chamber of Commerce stands with you as we work together to make Florida among the best places in the world to live and work.”

Eric Silagy, President and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company said, “Florida’s recovery from COVID-19 can only be successful through a phased, measured approach to the re-opening of our economy. Floridians are battle tested and resilient and I’m encouraged to see Governor DeSantis using the best available science and data to drive his decision making to help the state rebound from these extraordinarily difficult times. FPL will continue to work with the state and do everything we can to help Florida get back on her feet, and that starts by keeping the lights on while ensuring that our employees, customers and their families are safe.”

Paul Reilly, Chairman and CEO of Raymond James Financial said, “I thank the Governor for his strong leadership and for the inclusive and thoughtful process in assessing the best way to ‘re-open Florida.’ Facing so much uncertainty, our continued commitment to put the safety and health of our citizens first while addressing the state’s economic recovery will benefit from continued diligence and working together.”

Joe York, President of AT&T Florida and Caribbean said, “I want to commend Governor DeSantis for his leadership and hard work during this COVID-19 crisis. The Governor, his staff and the Re-Open Florida Task Force have put together a plan that will give Floridians the confidence that they can safely return to work and public spaces. This plan puts safety first, is data-driven and provides close coordination with the federal government as well as our local officials. Our public health is reliant on our economic health and this plan ensures both are protected.”

Alex Sanchez, President & CEO of the Florida Bankers Association said, “The process of re-opening Florida will require a collaborative effort, but thanks to the Governor’s strong leadership and decisive action, I have no doubt our state will be back on its feet in no time. The Governor is being deliberative and thoughtful meeting with Florida’s best medical experts and business leaders to help him make this difficult decision. I greatly appreciate that the Governor is concerned about the health and economic concerns of all Floridians. I look forward to seeing Florida’s economy flourish once again in the near future.”



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