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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings Is Not Having It When it Comes to Lifting Some COVID Restrictions

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is not having it.

Demings blasted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his executive order overruling all local coronavirus mandates in a letter issued Monday night. The mayor accused the state’s top exec of playing stooge to a larger GOP strategy meant to, “usurp the authority of Democrat-led urban counties and cities across America.”

DeSantis made a big show of signing an executive order effectively rendering all local emergency measures moot last week, a stopgap measure ahead of a just-passed law that would grant the Legislature and executive branch the power to overrule local authorities. That law takes effect on July 1.

Mayor Demings says the governor failed to lead at the outset of the pandemic, creating the very patchwork of local orders that his executive order overturns.

And Mayor Demings appears ready to call DeSantis’ bluff. He says Orange County will carry on with measures to keep residents safe from the spread of COVID-19, vowing, “I will continue to make decisions in the best interest of [Orange County’s] health, safety and welfare and will not wait on the governor to tell me what to do.”

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.