Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is an Ivy League schooled professional lawyer and a career politician. He more than likely has not spent much time studying infectious diseases nor has he been an economist. History will judge whether DeSantis was correct in his analysis to open up Florida economically in the midst of an uncontained COVID-19 pandemic or failed in his assessment. Last week when DeSantis decided to fully open up business in the state with few exceptions, Florida reported more than 14,000 COVID-19 related deaths and 700,000 people have been infected since last winter. DeSantis also barred local governments from collecting fines from people who were cited for not wearing masks and not adhering to social distancing. But what the Florida governor has done is open the door for a February 7th Tampa Super Bowl complete with people packed into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium along with the NFL’s annual Super Bowl Fanfest and all the assorted parties and activities that are associated with the Super Bowl. DeSantis never shut down Florida amusement parks or sports venues. Last February’s Miami Gardens Super Bowl might have started the local COVID-19 outbreak.
The National Football League’s Florida-based team ownerships in Jacksonville and Miami Gardens allowed customers in their venues. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership has been far more cautious but DeSantis is applying pressure to get people into the stadium to show that it is good to be outdoors watching a football game. DeSantis said he expects to do a full Super Bowl. College football has returned to various stadiums in Florida. The Orange Bowl is still slotted for January 2nd. The 2020 College Football National Championship Game will be played in Miami Gardens on January 11th. COVID-19 is not going away but DeSantis wants events that bring in money like the Super Bowl played.