In contrast with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said this week he will “never” lockdown his state again.
“The number of COVID-positive patients that are currently hospitalized is down nearly 60% statewide from our July peak,” said DeSantis, according to WPTV-TV. “We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly, I cringe.”
DeSantis’ vow came just weeks after Biden, who served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, made clear he would activate a nationwide shut down if necessary, should he be elected president in November.
ABC News host David Muir asked Biden, “If you’re sworn in come January, and we have coronavirus and flu combining, which many scientists have said is a real possibility, would you be prepared to shut this country down again?”
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives,” the candidate replied, “because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus. That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with.”
“In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed,” he continued, “you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”
Muir pressed further, “So, if scientists say, ‘shut it down?’”
“I would shut it down,” said Biden. “I would listen to the scientists.”
All of this comes as churches in several states have continued to face rules barring them from gathering for worship services. In California, for example, megachurch pastor John MacArthur has faced what he believes to be discriminatory action from Los Angeles County officials.
In a statement released Monday, Jenna Ellis, the attorney representing MacArthur and Grace Community Church in a legal battle with the county over in-person gatherings, accused government officials of “harassment” over its decision to terminate a decades-old lease agreement held by MacArthur’s church.
President Donald Trump, for his part, is convinced much of the lockdown restrictions are politically motivated.
Speaking during the Republican National Convention last week, Trump argued Democratic governors will keep stringent restrictions in place until the day after the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“I guarantee you, on Nov. 4, it will open up,” said the president. “It will be fine, like most southern states. On Nov. 4, you know these Democrat governors, they love shut down until after the election is over, because they want to make our numbers look bad as possible for the economy, but our numbers are looking so good.”