Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, announced on last Friday that state parks will soon reopen, even as the coronavirus pandemic continued and Death himself still stalked the beaches of the Sunshine state.
The same Death that goes viral on social media after a man dresses up to alert Floridians to the dangers of reopening their economy too soon.
The “Grim Reaper” in question was actually Daniel Uhlfelder, a lawyer and campaigner for public beach access who put on a cowl and wielded a scythe.
As a socially distanced interview with a TV reporter at Miramar Beach in Walton county went viral, Uhlfelder told CNN: “We aren’t at the point now where we have enough testing, enough data, enough preparation for what’s going to be coming to our state from all over the world from this pandemic.
I know how beautiful and attractive our beaches are. But if we don’t take measures to control things, this virus is going to get really, really out of control.”
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.1m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and more than 65,000 deaths. There have been nearly 35,000 cases in Florida, and just over 1,300 deaths.
Now States across the US are grappling with how and how quickly to reopen their shuttered economies, and in general, Republican governors are moving more swiftly to reopen than Democrats.
Uhlfelder hopes to use his protest to reap donations to Democrats running for Congress.
However, Florida’s governor De Santis cited a controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study he said showed sunlight, heat and humidity, plentiful commodities in Florida, can kill Covid-19 and outdoor daytime environments are lower risk for transmission of the virus than indoor environments.
The study came under a harsh spotlight itself last month , when Donald Trump told a White House briefing he thought the virus could be treated with sunlight.
The president also said he thought injecting disinfectant might beat the virus, but experts said it would not.
In any case, the DHS has explained the study is preliminary and is undergoing peer review.
Source: The Guardian