Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis continues to receive praise from across the state for his management through the pandemic. Constituents from many walks of life have shared their reactions to key policy decisions over the course of the past year and the positive impacts of those policies on Floridians.

Doug Williams of Indian Rocks Beach, a restaurant manager, bartender, and server, said:

“When I was going through the whole time [of the closures] I was worried about — was my job going to be secure or not? I was wondering — what am I going to do now? How am I going to pay my bills? That was what was going through my head, all day, every day. How am I going to survive out here every day? I would have had to go into a panic mode had these closures been extended for six months. My biggest fear was [Florida] shutting down after putting so much time into this restaurant and into this family. I feel the Governor opening the economy was what we really needed. We needed to jumpstart Florida. We depend on tourism. When he decided to open up, I was all for it.”

Laura Joyce of Manatee County, a registered nurse, said:

“As a registered nurse in the healthcare system, I wanted to THANK YOU for such a great job rolling out vaccinations to our state!! Everyone (patients, neighbors, family) has stated how efficient and well run the county sites here in Manatee County are run. We have family in Marion and Hillsborough counties and many good experiences there as well!  Great job – well done to you and your staff!!”

Jenny Streibick of Vero Beach, a registered nurse, said:  

“I, with so many of my friends and neighbors, wanted to thank you for everything you do on a daily basis, not only for Florida, but for our country as well. You are a fine patriot, and we are extremely proud to call you our governor! I am a frontline worker; a registered nurse of 35 years. I have also contracted the virus recently, fully recovered, and continue to care for affected people today. You are an inspiration and a big reason we have decided to remain in Florida even though we have family and new grandbabies in another state. We just know there is no other governor who will look out for our well-being and protect us as you do. So, thank you again and God bless you and yours!”

Jessica Solano, 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year, Lake Alfred, said:

“As a former educator, I really felt for the students who I knew needed to be in school. [Some students] may not have the best home or family environment or they were already so behind. For students to be at home, possibly without access to Wi-Fi, was just creating a continuous gap that was almost visually widening the longer we went with distance learning. I think a lot of the kids that I’ve taught are students who won’t necessarily benefit from staying out of the classroom. They need to have a relationship with their teacher. I can think of so many kids over the years who wouldn’t be as successful as they are if not for the relationship that we had, if not for my being able to check in and build that relationship, have lunch together, and do different things. They wouldn’t believe in themselves the way they do now. Sometimes, at no fault to their families and due to circumstances beyond their control, some students don’t always have the same success rate if they’re not in the classroom.”

Kimberley Scott, a concerned mom and new Florida resident moving from California, said: 

“I would say what drew us to Florida is Governor DeSantis. It seems like he’s the complete opposite of Governor Newsom. It’s like the tale of two states. You see what Newsom is doing, and it’s a lot of ‘do as I say and not as I do. You look at the economy, the destruction, the homelessness, that Newsom has caused. I was in Santa Cruz two weeks ago, and I hadn’t been there since the start of the pandemic, and I couldn’t believe the [extent of the homelessness]. There are tents in neighborhoods with million-dollar homes, hundreds of tents, so you can’t even go out and play with your children safely anymore because there are people walking around half naked who are homeless and on drugs. Then you look at Florida, and you look at these beaches, and they are clean, and there are no tents, and the economy is thriving here. Disney World is open. This was our only escape.”

Daniel Zielinski of Port St. Lucie, an avid cruiser, said:

“First, let me say my wife and I are in our 70s and have been Florida residents since 1972. We chose cruising as an inexpensive way to enjoy what years we have left. We usually book five or six a year. Our last cruise was January 2020 and we are so very disappointed that the cruise industry is still in limbo. It has hurt the industry and many ports and states including our own. Both the industry and Florida have taken a major hit. You have so much on your plate and yet you fight for all. I would like to say kudos to you for trying your best to get [Florida] running again.”

Hollis Nelson of Clermont, said:

“Thank you again for pressing the CDC to open up the cruise industry. There are many crew members ship-side and shore-side who are desperate to return to work. It makes no sense that other industries are ramping up and the cruise lines are stuck in a holding pattern. It almost seems like the CDC has a personal vendetta against cruise lines. Please don’t give up on our industry!!”

Leann Kaska of Venice, said:

“A quick note to tell you how lucky I am to live in Florida and have you as my governor. You are a wonderful asset to Florida and our country, especially during the pandemic. I hope you can get the cruise ship ports moving forward. I am ready to cruise. With all the vacations taking place, our ports should be open. Go after the CDC! A sincere thank you!”

Jeff Turbeville, Small Business Association Person of the Year for the State of Florida in 2019, of Jacksonville, said:

“Thank you for your good work and intelligent approach to managing Florida. Sunshine Peanut Company and its 44 employees thank you for all you are doing during these trying times for this state. I can attest to your hard work and the results as a Florida small business located in a HUBZone. Thank you and stay strong! I know it is not easy.”


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