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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is being ridiculed on Twitter over comments he made regarding Home Depot, Walmart, and school reopenings.
"I'm confident if you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools," DeSantis said.
He cited his desire to "minimize this education gap that I think has developed" due to the coronavirus.
Twitter users were quick to point out that the experience of sitting in a classroom for eight hours a day is dissimilar from making a Home Depot run.
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been roasted for drawing a comparison between reopening public K-12 schools and allowing consumers to shop at essential retailers like Home Depot and Walmart.
DeSantis made his comments at a press conference in Jacksonville, Florida, where he appeared alongside United States Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. In his remarks, the governor pressed for public schools to reopen.
"Different parents have different calculations," DeSantis said. "If a parent wants to opt for virtual education, they should absolutely be able to do that. We shouldn't be forcing them to do any types of decisions."
—Steve Contorno (@scontorno) July 9, 2020
—The Recount (@therecount) July 9, 2020
DeSantis went on to compare reopening schools to allowing consumers to continue to shop at essential retailers.
"But I'm confident if you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools," he said. "I want our kids to be able to minimize this education gap that I think has developed."
DeSantis also argued that the risk posed by COVID-19 is much lower for children than for older individuals. But Twitter onlookers immediately jumped in to argue that the Republican governor's parallel lacked logic.
—southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 9, 2020
—b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) July 9, 2020
—Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) July 9, 2020
—Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) July 9, 2020
—Commissioner Omari Hardy (@OmariJHardy) July 9, 2020
—Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 9, 2020
—Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) July 9, 2020
—Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) July 9, 2020
The governor's office did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
DeSantis has forcefully pushed for the reopening of public schools in August.
In a 143-slide PowerPoint arguing for the reopening of schools, the governor's administration said, "Florida can only hit its economic stride if schools are open."
The governor — an ally of US President Donald Trump — has previously come under fire for his state's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In March, he waited to close beaches crowded with spring break revelers and subsequently refused to shut the state down until April 1. Florida's statewide stay-at-home order lifted at the end of April. Since then, DeSantis has frequently expressed his eagerness to reopen Florida's economy, even as COVID-19 cases have spiked in his state over the summer.
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