It’s omnishambles time in Florida, and it’s no coincidence that Republicans hold every statewide office except ag commissioner. The state’s department of agriculture is probably functioning properly. I don’t know. But Governor DeSantis has made a complete fucking hash of his job during the pandemic. He issued the “stay-at-home” order way too late (it went into effect at midnight). And he undermined more stringent local ordinances to accommodate the crackpot prosperity gospel grifters who want to gather on Sundays to fleece the rubes while they breathe on each other.
Testing has been ramped up, but so far only about .036% of the 22M population has been tested, and most of the testing has been done in metro areas. Every single county has at least one case, but as recently as last week, DeSantis was telling people a statewide stay-at-home order wasn’t necessary because the virus hadn’t spread to “every corner of the state.” As of today, we’ve got more than 9,000 confirmed cases, and experts say the “peak” won’t happen here for another month.
Meanwhile, the bottom has fallen out of Florida’s tourism-dependent and service-heavy economy. As hundreds of thousands flocked to file for unemployment benefits online, the state’s website crashed. Hard. It was deliberate sabotage; during his tenure, former Gov. Scott directed crooks to design that site to keep people from getting the princely sum of $275 a week in unemployment benefits to make Scott’s economic numbers look good. Auditors warned Scott about it, and they warned DeSantis too. Neither lifted a finger.
The director of the department overseeing the unemployment benefits fiasco, who has been on the job since DeSantis appointed him in 2018, apologized and said printed forms are on the way…eventually. He should be fired — not just from his job but also from a space cannon into the sun. Not only can untold numbers of suddenly unemployed people NOT get access to Florida’s stingy unemployment benefits, they can’t get access to the money the feds sent to augment it because that goes through the states.
To sum up, a tidal wave of pestilence is rushing toward the state because the stupid governor followed Trump’s idiotic lead, ignoring the virus until it was way too late to control the spread. And the economy is not only a smoking crater for the foreseeable future, hundreds of thousands or possibly millions can’t access the benefits they’ve EARNED to get them through this time.
The only upside of this horrific situation? If Trump loses Florida in 2020, it doesn’t matter if he hangs onto the Rust Belt. I’m not in the presidential race prediction business any more, but just as a citizen looking around? I think Trump loses this state, and with it the presidency. Sorry about all the dead people and ruined lives, Florida, but the Republican experiment in small government by greedy crooks had to be carried out to its logical extreme, and here we are. Let’s do better next time.