Why do you think Governor DeSantis is so resistant to taking those steps?
What he has told me is that all the urban cities have [measures in place]. He’s also told me that he doesn’t want to give a false sense of security because, in his perspective, distancing is more important than wearing a mask. He’s afraid that if people wear masks, they won’t distance. Obviously, there’s a lot of people who speculate that it’s political. I don’t get into that speculation just because, for me, this is not about politics. And I know that sounds a little bit Pollyanna-ish in an election year. But for me, this is about a public health crisis. And I can’t even fathom that it could be political because of what’s at stake.
You might be one of the few with that view.
Look, if it is political, and I’m not denying that it may be political, because, I mean, I did an interview this week where a moderator gave me a hard time. I was complaining about the C.D.C. and they thought I was somehow not critical of the president. And that’s not the way I look at it. It’s like — if someone’s critical of my solid waste department, they’re being critical of me. You know what I mean?
With the president, you never know because he changes his stance. So now he happens to be wearing a mask. Who knows next week what he may do.
What do you want to hear from Mr. Trump?
What I want to hear from him is a masks-in-public rule. What I want to hear from his C.D.C. is guidance on what should cities do that have, like ours, experienced a second wave. What are the metrics for closing? We’ve only gotten guidance for opening, never gotten guidance for closing. Instead of fighting with the C.D.C., he should be asking his C.D.C. to provide us that clear guidance. That’s the kind of leadership that we need.
Just like voters, you’re watching his response. You’re a Republican; does he have your vote?
As mayor of a big urban city, I am definitely watching how he responds to Covid. That is incredibly important to me. I have issues with his opponent, as well. Some of the stances that he’s taken, as well, but I — this is definitely something that I have to analyze, without a doubt.
Are you going to go to the convention in Jacksonville?
I’ve never been to a political convention in my life, believe it or not. So it’s not something that I think too much about, to be honest with you. I’ve actually thought about maybe taking some time off, like a vacation with my family, and I don’t even feel comfortable taking a vacation right now because of the situation in Miami. So if I can’t get away with my family, I don’t know. I haven’t traveled since this all happened, either.
I’d say it’s not likely right now.
Looking toward the fall, the governor is pushing to open schools. The teachers’ union doesn’t agree. They’re suing. Beyond being a father of young kids, you have a personal connection to this issue because your mom is an elementary-school teacher. Where do you come down on school reopening?