Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ripped Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, saying he has fumbled his state’s response to the coronavirus crisis and criticizing his decision to reopen the Sunshine State’s beaches by saying: “God help us all.”
Lightfoot made the comments at an unrelated news conference after being asked about small protests around the country by people straining against stay-at-home orders. The mayor said she understands such restrictions as Illinois has in place have been hard on everyone, but said they’ve been necessary measures to save lives.
“This virus is the kind of things where the actions of one have consequences on the actions and life of many,” Lightfoot said. “We have to be all in on this together.”
Lightfoot then criticized the lack of consistency around the country, as the response to COVID-19 has been a “patchwork” of policies due to lack of a clear federal strategy.
“I watched the governor of Florida, I think, fumble once again,” Lightfoot, a Democrat, said. “His leadership has been wholly lacking in this pandemic and then he reopened the beaches. God help us all.”
DeSantis, a Republican, reopened some beaches late last week, with some restrictions.
Late last month, Lightfoot ordered Chicago’s iconic Lakefront Trail and some other high-profile public areas closed off, a day after crowds flouted social distancing rules to pack beaches and parks on a warm afternoon.
Though Lightfoot was not specifically asked how long before the lakefront reopens, she suggested the city is still a ways away from normalcy in response to a question about COVID-19 testing in Chicago. She’s also previously said she expects Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order to go into May.
“We are definitely better than we were before but we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” Lightfoot said. “We really need to have widespread testing in every neighborhood. We’re going to need a significant increase in capacity before we can even think about reopening our city.”
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