ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been walking a tightrope for weeks during the coronavirus crisis, trying to protect both residents vulnerable to the virus and the cratering economy in a state of 21 million people.
His dilemma is a clear example of the conundrum facing the president of the U.S. and governors nationwide: His state has both an enormous population — a large percentage of which is old and particularly vulnerable to the virus — and a thriving economy whose collapse could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The success or failure of the Republican governor's decisions could have major consequences for the national economic recovery, not to mention the presidential election. No state is more central