FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis made it clear on Thursday that despite the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, Florida will not be shutting down.
"Look, if anyone is calling for lockdowns, you're not getting that done in Florida," he said. "I'm going to protect people's livelihoods, I'm going to protect kid's rights to go to school. I'm going to protect people's right to run their small businesses."
DeSantis added that people need to make decisions that are right for them and calls it ‘totally unacceptable' for the government to come in and lock states down.
"We're going to lift people up. We're not locking people down."
The governor was in Fort Pierce at Indian River State College speaking about a new law that provides free book deliveries to the homes of elementary school students who read below grade level.
Earlier this week, he spoke about the positives in getting vaccinated and how he believes authorities should be advertising the vaccine.
"If you’re vaccinated and you test positive but you don’t get sick, well the name of the game is to keep people out of the hospital," DeSantis said. "Seventy-five percent of Floridians over the age of 50 have gotten shots, so we think that’s really, really positive."
The governor has been previously vocal about opposing virus-related mandates but said there is an obvious difference between the unvaccinated and vaccinated patients in the hospital.
"If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero," he said "If you look at the people that are being admitted to hospitals, over 95% of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. And so these vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality."
He reiterated that he believes the upswing in COVID-19 cases is seasonal, but those waves would impact vaccinated individuals in a "significant way."
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates.