WATCH: Ron DeSantis Called Florida ‘God’s Waiting Room’ During Coronavirus Briefing
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a macabre wisecrack about his state’s elderly residents during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, which is claiming the lives of tens of thousands of elderly Americans.
About nine minutes into Sunday’s coronavirus press briefing in Orlando, DeSantis illustrated the size of the state’s elderly population by telling reporter “Florida is ground zero for the nursing home, we’re God’s waiting room. We have a huge number of facilities, a huge number of residents.”
The context of DeSantis’ remark was to compare his state’s fatality rate at nursing homes with those of states that have been harder hit, which the governor chalked up to early efforts aimed at the facilities.
Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo blasted DeSantis in a statement that read “Governor, this isn’t a time to do stand-up, it’s a time to stand up and lead.”
Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino provided some useful historical data on the quip, writing that “In 1981, when DeSantis was just 3 years old, The New York Times was already making a printed reference to the ‘God’s waiting room’ reputation of Florida,” and that “In 2013, columnist George Will modified it slightly by referring to Florida as ‘God’s antechamber.’ But that was just the bow-tie-wearing Will trying to be fancy.”
There is also believed to be a lost chapter of the Book of Mark in which Jesus refers to Florida as “My dad’s reception area.”
See, it’s an old joke.
But telling it at a press conference whose subject is a deadly pandemic that’s killing thousands of your own residents, that’s what we in the business call a fresh take.
Watch the clip above via WESH.
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