FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
LPF Responds to Gov. DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order
KEY WEST, Fla. – If you live in Florida, you are now in state-mandated lock-down. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order Numbers 20-91 and 20-92 although signed on April 1, were certainly no jokes. As of midnight, free movement and free commerce is severely restricted for the entire state. While he hasn’t called out the National Guard for every street corner, DeSantis referenced passages from the Florida Constitution and Statutes granting him the authority to do so.[i]
The Libertarian Party of Florida condemns this action. Evidence shows enforced lockdowns do not curb the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness. Intelligent responses to medical issues do work without shutting down society as DeSantis has done.
Evidence shows rational steps promoted by government can work without creating the record-high unemployment we have now. You’ve already heard those rational steps many times: Keep your distance from others, wear gloves and maybe a mask, wash your hands and if you’re sick, stay home. What we’re seeing is those rational steps are contributing to emerging successes in South Korea and Japan, along with Finland. Certainly, there are cultural and mindset differences, but those countries have largely approached this manufactured “crisis” in a voluntary, supportive way, not authoritarian.[ii]
South Korea offers a good example.[iii] Within the first week after the case of COVID-19 was verified, government officials met with manufacturers to urge them to scale up manufacture of test kits. Within days, government employees were testing on a greater scale than the United States has performed to date. Numerous testing sites were quickly set up to avoid choking hospitals. Results were available within hours, not days.
People who needed it, are getting medical care before it becomes life-threatening. Once a new case is identified, the person is immediately placed under direct medical care. Everyone in contact with those ill people are identified and tested, and re-tested in a few days. In some cases, medical workers urged quarantine for those who were in immediate contact. Mortality rates stayed low.
In addition to those direct measures, the South Korean government played a role in keeping citizens informed and educated. They recommended – not mandated – facemask wearing and social distancing. A responsible population agreed and complied.
South Korea did not resort to shutting down their society to the degree DeSantis has mandated for Floridians. Korean stores, restaurants and schools were kept open. That country addressed the issue as medical, not economic.
As peace-loving and educated folks, Libertarians everywhere in the world believe in informed free choice and responsible free will. Virtually all Libertarians do “the right thing” in this outbreak in that they approach it as a medical safety issue. We wash our hands, maybe wear gloves and masks to protect ourselves, our families and our friends, along with our business associates and customers. And yes, we want to make those choices ourselves without draconian government intrusion.
The Libertarian Party of Florida calls on Gov. DeSantis to rescind 20-91 and 20-92 and let Florida function again. DeSantis had the opportunity to lead the nation in responsible steps to stop a medical issue without stopping Florida. He chose the latter.
– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer
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