Provided below is Governor DeSantis’ address.
Tonight, we’re watching the latest developments on Tropical Storm Isaias as it passes the Dominican Republic and heads towards Florida.
While we can’t be certain of the exact track the storm, and we certainly can’t be sure about the intensity it will ultimately reach, we do expect to see impacts to the State of Florida, even if the storm remains off our shore which is the current forecast.
But this is an evolving situation so please keep up with official updates and make sure you have a plan and have 7 days worth of food, water and medicine.
And while we monitor the Tropical Storm in the Atlantic – here onshore we continue to battle COVID-19.
I know the past few months have been difficult.
Our lives have been captivated – and in many ways – turned upside down by something we can’t see – can’t smell – can’t taste or touch.
Some have lost a loved one.
That’s painful. No words do it justice.
AND while we recognize that there is suffering – that there is fear, anger and loss.
We must also recognize this enduring truth:
We are Americans.
We’re a strong, decent people – who have overcome difficult times throughout our history.
We will continue to contend with the virus, but we will not be defined by it. …
I recently spoke with U.S. Air Force Veteran Clyde Finch.
He’s 88 years young.
He lives in a veterans nursing home down in South Florida.
Mr. Finch served his country on the battlefields of Korea more than a half century ago.
Four months ago – he endured another fight – this one here at home – against the coronavirus.
He’s riddled with several underlying conditions. He does not have the ability to see – those who cared for him were not sure that he would survive.
But he didn’t give up the fight.
And after 29 days in the hospital – he emerged to say, “This COVID thing held me down but it didn’t hold me out.”
Mr. Finch not only beat it – he’s doing well and will be celebrating his 89th birthday in 16 days.
AND Just like Mr. Finch – we too – must stay in the fight and stay strong.
For we have – One Goal – and we are One Florida.
The best way to unite behind One Goal is for each Floridian to take the simple steps reflected in our state guidelines that can really make a difference:
First, protect those especially vulnerable to the disease, such as our senior citizens.
Second, exercise proper hygiene.
Third, practice physical distancing by avoiding closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact environments.
Fourth, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, wear a facial covering.
We also need to understand – what we know for certain about this virus.
That it does disproportionately affect our elderly citizens and those with underlying health conditions such hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
We also need to understand, fortunately, that our children are at far less risk.
According to the CDC, kids under 18 at far less likely to be hospitalized or to die from COVID-19 than they are from seasonal influenza.
As we speak, school boards are voting on their plans for the upcoming school year.
AND – while they have the ultimate say on the shape the school year will take, I believe that there should be a choice for parents throughout Florida.
Parents who prefer distance learning should be able to opt for it – and parents who desire in-person instruction should have access to it.
We cannot be the generation that deprives our children of the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.
Now fortunately, we have begun to see some positive trends throughout the state regarding declining emergency department visits and hospitalizations for COVID-like illnesses.
We want those trends to continue and tonight – we resolve to press forward to capitalize on those trends. …
We have One Goal. We’re One Florida.
We’ll continue the fight – just like Clyde Finch.
We’ll fight with hope and optimism and we will emerge stronger as a result of it.
We must stay strong – we must not fear – for we will succeed.
And Happy Birthday to Mr. Finch.