Bay Area leaders have mixed reaction to DeSantis plan to reopen the state

Governor Ron DeSantis’ plan to start re-opening the state’s economy is laid out in an executive order, but the details weren’t immediately available for local leaders, who had mixed initial reactions.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted shortly after DeSantis wrapped up his Wednesday evening press conference saying local leaders need to read the document to understand the preemption issues and other relevant nuances.

According to the governor’s office, the order does not contain a preemption on local rules where those rules restrict or close businesses or buildings.

Other leaders gave general endorsements of the plan. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor released a statement online and commented during her daily Facebook live address.

“I personally am very happy to hear him say he is going to base the opening of the state on the science, and on the data, and that it is going to be a slow return to normalcy here in the state,” she said.

The deliberate and methodical approach DeSantis keeps emphasizing is also a main point Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller likes about the plan.

“I wish he would have emphasized more wearing masks. He did talk about it being in close proximity wearing masks, but I think we need to be more, emphasize more,” said Miller. “I know a lot of people don’t want to do that.”

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Congresswoman Kathy Castor said she has serious concerns about the state’s testing capability. Saying only 1.4% of the population in Hillsborough County has been tested for the virus.

“Until you have a broad-based testing strategy where you’re testing hundreds of thousands of people and you’re able to analyze the results, people are not going to feel safe,” Castor said.