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Florida governor responds to #FloridaMoron backlash, defends beachgoers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Wednesday defended Floridians who went to beaches after they reopened, saying they didn't deserve the backlash they received on Twitter.

Photos showed thousands of people filling the beaches over the weekend, despite the coronavirus continuing to spread across the state. People online shared the pictures, adding the hashtag #FloridaMoron. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday said beachgoers were all following the rules, which allowed them to exercise but not gather in large groups or sunbathe.

During his press conference, DeSantis praised Curry and "the people of Jacksonville," saying they are "doing a great job. And to those who say you're morons, I would take you over the folks who are criticizing you any day of the week and twice on Sunday." The city has done "a great job of keeping folks out of the hospital, particularly the vulnerable, and I think that they deserve credit," he added.

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 440 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases up to 28,309. The department also reported 26 new deaths, with the death toll now at 893. More than 90 percent of tests in the state are being completed by private labs, and health experts say that because it can take up to two weeks for those results to be reported by the Florida Department of Health, the state's total number of cases is likely much higher.