A petition to recall and remove Ron DeSantis as Florida governor has reached its target of 35,000 signatures, with coronavirus cases continuing to climb in the Sunshine State.
With the Delta variant decimating Florida, a petition, started by Cameron White, criticizes the Florida governor's stance towards the coronavirus pandemic as well as DeSantis making it difficult to file for unemployment benefits.
The petition description reads: "Governor Ron DeSantis and former governor Rick Scott have made filing for unemployment in Florida impossible. They care more about showing low unemployment numbers than they do if Floridians have enough to eat.
"Aside from this sad fact, DeSantis waited until the last minute to issue a stay-at-home order which without a doubt caused the Coronavirus to spread much faster than necessary.
"The governor has also went directly against CDC guidelines and allowed churches to still have large gatherings. He is not fit to be our governor and needs to be removed as quickly as the constitution allows."
The petition was created over a year ago but has recently garnered traction due to the rising cases. White, the owner of the petition, updated the description 2 days ago: "The Delta variant is ravaging Florida and our governor is still putting the lives of Floridians in danger and refusing to follow medical guidance. The responsible citizens of Florida must rise up and do everything in our power to remove our reckless and incompetent governor now."
Florida is currently witnessing some of the highest rates of Covid-19 infections in the US as the Delta variant rapidly spreads through the sunshine state. On Saturday, the state reported 25,991 more COVID-19 cases, another record daily case count.
The Washington Newsday reported that Florida is experiencing the highest rate of children hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country. It is also reporting the highest rate o Covid-19 hospitalizations among those aged eighteen and nineteen.
Despite all this, Governor DeSantis has maintained his executive order prohibiting local governments from imposing mask regulations in public venues, such as schools. He remains rather popular despite being controversial, being one of the front-runners for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Hernandez, who has been critical of DeSantis's approach to the pandemic for months, said he wants to impose a mask mandate for his community but is being blocked by DeSantis's executive orders prohibiting local officials from doing so.
"He's a dictator," Hernandez said. "It's a shame because we're paying the price."
DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw pushed back against the governor's critics, saying it was "ridiculous for anyone to call Governor DeSantis a dictator."
"Since when do dictators prioritize individual rights over the unchecked expansion of government power?" Pushaw said, adding that DeSantis has the right to use "executive power" if "local officials overstep and infringe on individual rights."