Donald Trump Jr. waves at campaign rally before President Donald Trump appears Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Some Democratic governors, like mine, are resisting such calls. But Republican governors have shown much more of a willingness to ease their states back open in strategic ways that allow people to get back to work while keeping those most at risk safe.
Related to that, the Miami Herald published a piece on Sunday that detailed how beaches in two Florida counties had reopened thanks to guidance given to mayors by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis:
In a scene that may repeat itself across Florida as the state takes the first steps toward a return to normal life, cheering crowds flocked to beaches in the Jacksonville area on Friday and Saturday, as they reopened for “essential activities” but still under social-distancing restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The growing resistance against blanket shutdowns of beaches and parks is increasing pressure on local authorities to come up with plans for the reopening of open spaces as well as businesses. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday gave mayors the green light to reopen beaches in areas where it can be done safely. He is also working on creating a task force to prepare to reopen businesses across the state.
The paper also reported that “reactions on social media to the beach reopenings were mostly negative” and that “#FloridaMorons was among the top trending topics” on Twitter Saturday.
But one of the most disturbing reactions on Twitter over the weekend came from a columnist who just happens to write for the Miami Herald. In a tweet that she has since deleted, here’s what Fabiola Santiago wrote:
“Packed beaches should work nicely to thin the ranks of Trump/DeSantis/Gimenez supporters in #Florida who value money over health.”
Here’s a screen grab:
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 20, 2020
Donald Trump, Jr. was among the many people who were not amused with Fabiola’s hot take on the Florida beach reopening situation. He went off on the Miami Herald as well as Santiago:
This tweet from a Miami Herald columnist tells you all you need to know about her, and based on their hiring choices, likely everything you need to know about the Miami Herald as well. Their flagrant bias continues to go on unchecked. Disgusting. https://t.co/FOmn5zxnaK
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 19, 2020
The columnist tried to walk it back in later tweets but by that point the damage was done:
In fact, my intent was to sound an alarm about prematurely opening up the country and the state. I was trying to open eyes, minds and save lives, not create a controversy about me instead of the issue, which merits discussion. #StayHome #BeSafe #practicesocialdistancing
— Fabiola Santiago (@fabiolasantiago) April 20, 2020
I should note that Santiago was so concerned about “prematurely opening up the country” that she apparently forget to post the same message to New Yorkers.
A quick scan of her Twitter feed found no similar scoldings for the people crammed into New York City subways or out walking their dogs in Central Park without observing social distancing guidelines in the midst of the pandemic there, because those images don’t fit in with Santiago’s Orange Man Bad narratives.
Here’s a better idea for Santiago. If she’s that concerned about the well-being of her fellow Floridians, perhaps she should donate her entire salary to help those who can’t provide for their families right now because so many businesses have either temporarily or permanently shut down thanks to local and state efforts around the country to combat the Wuhan coronavirus.
Because opening beaches back up is not just about giving citizens something to do while the other restrictions are still in place. It’s also about putting people in the tourism industry back to work so they can provide for their families.
She should think about that that next time she snarks off about Republicans who allegedly “value money over health.”