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The Villages
Monday, June 14, 2021

Official contends Gov. DeSantis should ‘stay the hell out of The Villages’

A Community Development District 2 official said Villagers “are scared to death” of COVID-19 and that Gov. Ron DeSantis should “stay the hell out of The Villages.”

CDD 2 Supervisor Bart Zoellner made the comments Friday morning during the board meeting at Savanna Center.

The Village of Harmeswood of Belle Aire resident said he is “disappointed” in the governor and accused him of bungling the response to the Coronavirus crisis while using The Villages as a political prop.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he’s been told Villagers are doing a good job in taking precautions against the COVID-19 virus.

DeSantis was in The Villages for a press conference on Monday, the same day Villagers waited for up to an hour under the sweltering sun for COVID-19 testing at the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s mobile testing RV at Laurel Manor. By the end of the week, it was announced the mobile testing facility was leaving The Villages a day early and heading south.

The line for COVID-19 testing Monday morning stretched around Laurel Manor Recreation Center.

“We need to put together a program to get every Villager tested. The governor needs to stay the hell out of The Villages with his ‘happy’ news conferences,” Zoellner said.

He said The Villages has a population at greater risk because of the age of residents and medical conditions such as diabetes. He said he has a neighbor who hasn’t left the house in three months and is having groceries delivered.

“People are afraid to go out,” Zoellner said.

The supervisor pointed to the governor’s press conference in March at a testing site at The Villages Polo Fields.

Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at The Villages Polo Fields on March 23 to officially open the new COVID-19 testing site in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“He used The Villages as a big promotion. It was a fraud,” said Zoellner, adding that the testing was “absolutely worthless.”

This week, Florida’s Coronavirus death count topped 4,000 and the Sunshine State is leading the nation in the rate of infections.

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