As Florida's death toll from COVID-19 rises to about 100 deaths per day, concern about Governor Ron DeSantis' handling of the ongoing pandemic continues to grow. With no apparent relief to the spreading virus in sight, Broward community leaders overwhelmingly disagreed with DeSantis' decisions on mask requirements, penalties for violating city-issued requirements and other issues, according to the results of our fourth Fort Lauderdale Power Poll.
Our first Power Poll question focused on the Governor's reluctance to issue additional restrictions to curb COVID-19. We asked our survey-takers if they agreed with DeSantis' refusal to issue any additional precautions in light of the virus's rapid spread. Nearly 64 percent of the respondents strongly disagreed with the Governor's actions. However, 9.1 percent of the respondents strongly agreed with DeSantis's decision and 18 percent agreed with the Governor's actions.
Our second Power Poll question focused on the new employee the Governor hired to crunch numbers on the Florida COVID-19 death rates. DeSantis hired a sports blogger to conduct the data analysis. Our poll asked community leaders if they felt confident the data that was being released by the state was accurate. A 54.5 percent majority said they strongly disagree, another 18.2 percent of respondents said they disagreed. But 27.3 of the survey-takers agreed with DeSantis' choice.
Our third Power Poll question asked our survey takers if the State of Florida should issue a state-wide mask-wearing requirement. A majority of 63.6 percent said they would strongly agree with a state-wide mask mandate. Another 9.1 percent said they would agree with such an order. However, 18.3 percent of the survey takers voiced disagreement with the idea of a state-wide mask requirement.
Our fourth Power Poll question focused on Home Rule. Gov. DeSantis has banned local governments from fining people who violate local mask mandates. We asked our poll takers if they agreed with this action, or not. The majority of survey takers disagreed with the Governor's actions.
"Counties and Cities should be able to develop and enforce their own face mask mandates. State should not interfere," said Heiko Dobrikow, general manager of the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
Poll results showed that a whopping 72.7 percent of the respondents disagreed with DeSantis' decision and another 9.1 percent disagreed. Those who agreed with DeSantis' decision totaled 9.1 percent.