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Potential Florida Democratic governor candidate Crist attacks DeSantis on COVID numbers, border

Crist is a former Independent, Republican and Florida governor.

Updated: July 26, 2021 - 10:18am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Florida Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Rep. Charlie Crist this past weekend accused GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of putting presidential aspirations ahead of the state’s reemerging COVID-19 problem. 

“You know what’s happening,” Crist asked Sunday at a state Democratic Party event in Deerfield Beach about virus numbers, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "We have gone to the top. And it is a dubious distinction. And why is that? Because we don’t have leadership."

Crist, a former Independent, Republican and Florida governor, also asked attendees: "What’s he doing about it? He’s going to Texas. He goes to the border. Texas. You’re the governor of Florida. ... He’s spending our tax dollars out there, giving our law enforcement to Texas while people are dying in Florida."

DeSantis, who appears to be a top GOP 2024 presidential contender, especially if former President Trump doesn’t run, has, like other Republican governors, made efforts to send resources to the southwest U.S. border, as the Biden administration tries to manage the migrant surge.  

Florida leads the nation in COVID-19 infections, which are on the rise in almost every state as a result of the highly contagious delta variant.

On Friday, the state reported a weekly total of 73,199 infections. Three weeks ago, the weekly total of new cases was 15,978. The test positivity rate increased to 15.1%, up from 5.2% three weeks ago, the newspaper also reports.

DeSantis has managed to keep most of the state – and its economy – running during the pandemic.