Florida is hot and that is not a weather report, but an economic forecast, according to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
"You have lockdown states that are putting people out of business," DeSantis told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures." "We focused on lifting people up. By doing that, you actually have new entrepreneurs coming to start new ventures, new restaurants are opening in Florida. New hotels are opening in Florida.
"So people are viewing Florida as a place they can follow their dreams. It is a free state."
DeSantis told host Maria Bartiromo of "a lot of great trends" in the Florida economy after lockdowns damaged its tourism industry last March and April.
"Since then we now have an unemployment rate that is significantly less than the national average," DeSantis said. "We have a 25% increase in home sales, year over year 2019 to 2020.
"If you look at the top 25 places where new home construction is taking place at the highest levels, a plurality of those are in Florida. I think we have 6 or 7 of the communities; the No. 1 place in the country for new home construction by far is The Villages retirement community, which has thrived during the pandemic, even though of course seniors are more vulnerable to COVID than the bulk of the population.
"We are doing a lot to focus on protecting elderly people from COVID."
DeSantis noted Florida has vaccinated about 1.75 million seniors thus far, which is about 40% of all seniors in Florida.
"There's a whole bunch of things we've been doing for COVID, but at the same time, we've lifted our state up, we've saved our economy, and I think we're going to be first out of the gate once we're able to put COVID behind our country."
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