ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings held a press conference Tuesday with Dr. Raul Pino, director of Florida Department of Health in Orange County to provide an update on COVID-19 and the County’s response. The Mayor also discussed the County’s efforts to monitor the Omicron variant, along with an update on testing, vaccinations and booster sites. According to the Florida Department of Health, Orange County currently has 252,000 positive COVID cases and sustained 2,291 COVID-related deaths.
‘Where is our Governor?’
Mayor Demings ripped Governor DeSantis: “Where is Ron DeSantis now? When was the last time you saw the governor do a press conference on COVID-19?” The ongoing battle between Mayor Demings and Governor DeSantis over mask requirements and vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of ending. Demings pointed back to the legislation signed into law after the Special Session in November banning local governments from making COVID mandates. As Demings put it, the new law “effectively prohibited local governments from being able to take charge and lead in our fight against COVID-19.”
“Last week, 19 Orange County employees who tested positive for COVID-19. This week, we have over 80 positive cases,” said Mayor Demings, pointing out that many were public service workers, and that, among the public service workers who tested positive, the majority are firefighters. “Two of my sons are firefighters,” he noted with a tense glare during Tuesday’s press conference.
This is personal for him.
“All Florida residents should be outraged,” he pressed. “They should be asking, “Where is the State? Where is the governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now?”
Mellissa Thomas and Janira Garcia contributed to this report.