Gov. Ron DeSantis is setting a bad example for Floridians

Via CBS News.

Kailey Krantz-Diaz and Benz de Marshall Pierre | PantherNOW Staff

Hurricane season is nothing new in South Florida, but it doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. It makes Ron DeSantis’s refusal to meet with President Joe Biden to survey the damage of Hurricane Idalia all the more alarming.

On Friday, September 1st, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced they had “no plans” to meet with Biden to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia that struck Florida’s Gulf Coast near Tallahassee on the morning of August 30th. 

“Setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,” said Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis’s spokesman.

This statement is logistically false.

If state officials met with federal officials during its aftermath, their help could expedite rescue and recovery efforts. 

In a state susceptible to hurricanes, DeSantis should be proactive in responding to the growing anxieties of his constituents, no matter what other parties he is working with. 

Year after year, we have seen the damages that hurricanes bring to our community economically, socially, and politically, with storms such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the most recent Hurricane Idalia. 

Via The Guardian

The video shows only a fraction of the damage that has affected Florida’s Big Bend.

As much as DeSantis congratulates Floridians for being resilient during the storm’s aftermath, it’s impossible to imagine the local and state government could ever accomplish these recovery efforts alone.

It’s why the community seeks hurricane relief through local, state, and federal government assistance. They can provide more food, water, medicine, and building materials to rebuild our cities.

The collaboration between the three levels of government could help Florida constituents see that their leaders can come together to help them despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

It seems like DeSantis is willing to help the community only if he works with people he likes or those who can help him boost his political standings.

The irony behind this decision is he has worked with Biden in the past, back when the president surveyed the damages of Hurricane Ian and the Surfside condo collapse in 2021.

This time around, it’s clear that DeSantis is setting his presidential agenda as a higher priority than his state’s citizens.

Via FiveThirtyEight / ABC News

According to the poll numbers, 48.6 percent of the U.S. population has an unfavorable opinion of DeSantis, while 34.5 percent is favorable. While the margin between the two numbers isn’t massive, DeSantis bailing out on cooperating with Biden isn’t going to do him any favors in winning new voters.

However, his favorability could improve if he started being more involved instead of letting the citizens fend for themselves in a yearly cycle of hurricanes.

With the primaries for the 2024 Presidential election coming up in January, it is imperative now more than ever to hold your state leaders accountable for the damage they’ve caused by not being there for their citizens.

This blatant disrespect for the safety and well-being of the South Florida community should never be tolerated or ignored. It sets a dangerous precedent for DeSantis’s treatment of the rest of the United States of America if he were elected president.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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