The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. DeSantis goes to ground in his Capitol office, with no details provided about his daily schedule

By: - March 15, 2021 5:07 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pictured at Bike Week in Daytona Beach on March 12, 2021. Source: Governor’s Facebook page

Gov. Ron DeSantis went dark Monday as to his whereabouts, after spending weeks traveling the state dispensing COVID vaccines and with the Florida Legislature entering the third week of its 60-day regular session.

As 5 p.m. neared, the governor’s office had yet to release his daily schedule. That’s not unusual — that document more times than not arrives in reporters’ inboxes well after many of his appointments have concluded, even though  that’s not transparent with the public.

In fact, communications aid Meredith Beatrice confirmed DeSantis was working in his office only late in the day, in reply to an emailed query from the Phoenix, without providing particulars about with whom he was meeting.

“The governor is hard at work in his office in the Capitol today. We will keep you informed of any possible media opportunities this week,” she wrote.

And, no, the low profile doesn’t mean the governor has contracted the coronavirus.

“The governor has never tested positive for COVID-19,” Beatrice wrote.

By contrast, DeSantis traveled last week alone to five counties — Brevard, Columbia, Duval, Sumter, and Volusia — to discuss vaccine distribution efforts. During a couple of those stops, the governor criticized the Biden administration over its COVID efforts.

The governor did sign an order directing that flags be flow at half staff on Tuesday in honor of Tampa police officer Jesse Madsen outside the Pasco County Courthouse, the Hillsborough County Courthouse, Tampa City Hall, and the Florida Capitol. Madsen was killed last week in a crash attributed to a wrong-way driver on Interstate 275.

On Friday, the governor attended Bike Week in Daytona Beach, where he was photographed hobnobbing with attendees without wearing a face mask.

Update: The governor’s office released his schedule at 5:30 p.m. It reflected meetings with Shane Strum and Adrian Lukis — DeSantis’ outgoing and incoming chiefs of staff — legislative affairs director Stephanie Kopelousos, and policy and budget director Chris Spencer, along with staff and call time.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.