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Florida governor gathers experts to validate COVID response

Photo: Ron DeSantis
Photo: Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is using a hand-picked panel of health experts to help validate the actions he took against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor convened those experts for a roundtable at the Capitol on Thursday. His handling of the virus will no doubt be a key issue in next year’s gubernatorial election, when DeSantis faces reelection.

The panel echoed the governor’s assertions that lockdowns and mask mandates did little to slow the virus's spread.

But their anti-lockdown views have been rebuked by many mainstream scientists.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried chided DeSantis for “elevating disinformation.” Fried is a potential Democratic rival in the governor’s race.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.