With Covid Soaring, Florida’s DeSantis Talks Up Teslas

At a time of record Covid-19 deaths and widespread unemployment, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis used his media briefing Friday to announce an increase in electric-vehicle charging stations along the highways.

Asked by a reporter from CBS affiliate News 6 what he’d tell Floridians who can’t afford their rent, let alone own a Tesla, DeSantis said he expected the cars to come down in price over time.

With Covid Soaring, Florida’s DeSantis Talks Up Teslas

“We are going to put people back to work,” he said Friday in Orlando. “I mean, we’ve got to have society function.”

He added: “Look, I can’t afford a Tesla either.”

DeSantis, a Republican ally of President Donald Trump, has tried to keep up a typical schedule of media appearances even as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations soar. Other recent announcements have touched on such matters as septic systems and youth sports. On Friday, he said the state was adding 74 fast electric charging stations along highways and evacuation routes, an increase of 50%.

Until prompted by an Orlando Sentinel journalist, DeSantis didn’t address Thursday’s single-day record in new reported Covid-19 deaths: 120. He noted that the daily reports include deaths that happened earlier but are just now being recorded.

He also suggested that the numbers would be higher if he hadn’t boosted testing and worked to isolate the sick in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

“We obviously are working hard to minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with this virus,” he said. “I think had we not done what we’ve done, you would have thousands of more fatalities in our long-term care facilities.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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