Critics of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' order lifting restrictions on restaurant capacity despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic "are ignorant about Florida," the Republican told "The Ingraham Angle" Friday night.
One such critic, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said earlier Friday that America is "nowhere near containment" and described part of DeSantis' order forbidding local governments from collecting fines for not wearing face masks in public as unthinkable.
"These are all the wrong sort of decisions as far as actually trying to bring this pandemic under control," Gupta claimed.
In response, DeSantis said Gupta and his ilk had misconstrued Florida's experience with the pandemic.
"We never closed down over the summer," he said, later adding: "We have been open. The final piece to the puzzle was this capacity limitation on the restaurants at 50%. So that was the announcement today that brought that in for a landing. A lot of those folks in that industry have had a really, really rough time."
DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham that the pandemic has taught restaurateurs how to maintain a safe and efficient for patrons and employees and promised the lifting of those restrictions would be good for businesses and customers alike.
"We have to have a situation where individuals can make decisions about what makes sense for them," the governor said. "If it's something you are not comfortable doing, nobody will force you to do it. But I think people need to be free to choose."