‘Where is Ron DeSantis now?’ Mayor Demings voices frustration over lack of state help amid surge

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Tuesday the state isn’t doing enough to help local governments during the surge in COVID-19 cases.

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The county said expanding access to testing sites is its top priority right now.

Demings said during a news conference that the county has delivered thousands of tests so far all on its own, expressing frustration that the state hasn’t provided help to local governments during the surge.

Demings even took a shot at the governor’s office during the news conference.

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“Where is Ron DeSantis now? When was the last time you saw the governor do a press conference on COVID-19?” Demings said.

It’s the latest swing in an ongoing battle between Demings and DeSantis over the power to create safety regulations like mask requirements and vaccine mandates.

As texting expands to a third location at the South Orange Youth Sports Complex, Demings said cases are soaring among county employees, especially firefighters. All county employees must wear a mask on the job unless they have a medical condition.

Read: Doctor says COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing at AdventHealth Centra Care locations in Orange County

Data from the Florida Hospital Association shows that serious illness is lacking, despite all the infections.

On Monday, there were 2,000 Floridians in the hospital with COVID-19, and 31% of ICU beds were available statewide.

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Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.