RPOF Newsletter – February 11, 2021
A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

February  11, 2021 

Breaking News: Biden Administration Considering Domestic Travel Restrictions?

While in Charlotte County today, Governor Ron DeSantis made strong comments in reaction to a report, quoting an unnamed White House official who is suggesting that the Biden Administration is considering imposing domestic travel restrictions on Americans and Floridians.

Here is what Governor DeSantis said:

“I think it is an absurd report. It would be unconstitutional, unwise, and unjust. And if you think about it, restricting the rights of Americans to travel freely throughout our country, while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southwestern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce.

We will oppose it 100 percent, it would not be based on science, it would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida.”


Chairman’s Message

Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s COVID vaccine distribution process is so efficiently run that the response time from a phone call from community leaders to shots in the arms of residents at a pop-up site can be implemented almost in real time.

Governor DeSantis has repeatedly stated his appreciation for elected leaders, health officials, emergency management officials and frontline workers  at the state and local levels who are working together to ensure the highest number of seniors get vaccinated. This week Governor DeSantis spoke at a Venice pop-up vaccination site that clearly demonstrated this type of successful collaboration.  Venice is a community with a high percentage of older Floridians that was in need of an extra boost.

The three-day site began operating on Wednesday and will administer 1,000 vaccines per day through Friday, February 12, for a total of 3,000 vaccines for Florida’s seniors in the Sarasota County area. 

To watch the Governor’s event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7FyQ1nXtfI


Covid-19 Update

Governor DeSantis announced additional COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state of Florida through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The sites will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines on Friday at 490 pharmacy locations across 52 counties. The State of Florida secured these retail partnerships and collaborated to identify strategic locations for each store to ensure maximum reach.

“Florida is proud to partner with Walmart and other retailers, including Publix, to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Governor DeSantis said. “Through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, we look forward to reaching more Floridians and ensuring that all eligible residents who want a vaccine are able to receive one. We will continue to utilize strategic partnerships and identify innovative ways to get more shots in arms and put Florida’s Seniors First.”  

In Florida, Publix Super Markets, Walmart/Sam’s Club and Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más) pharmacies were selected to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Publix – 593 locations
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club – 119 locations
  • Winn-Dixie – 43 locations

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/02/09/governor-ron-desantis-announces-additional-covid-19-vaccination-sites-at-walmart-and-publix-locations-throughout-florida/


Florida Update


The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), a caucus of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), announced that our Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez will serve as the committee’s chairman through 2021.

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez is recognized by Floridians and her peers for being a leader, helping the RSLC shatter fundraising records, which paved the way for Republicans to deliver key victories in 2020, including in North Carolina and Utah. Her leadership in Florida also helped increase Republican majorities in both of Florida’s legislative chambers. She will be instrumental as the organization now shifts its focus to the 32 elections across the country in the next two years.

We are proud of Lieutenant Governor Nuñez, Florida’s first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor, for all her hard work and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all Floridians. 

Read more here: https://rslc.gop/rlga-announces-florida-lieutenant-governor-jeanette-nunez-as-chairman/


Disney may consider moving its headquarters operations to Florida from California, where the company is struggling to reopen its theme parks. The potential move makes Disney the latest in a growing number of companies considering moving some or all of their operations out of California, which has some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country.

Over the course of the pandemic, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has lambasted California’s handling of the pandemic, calling the rules in place “arbitrary.”

“We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record. Our health and safety protocols are all science-based and have the support of labor unions representing 99% of our hourly cast members,” Chapek said. 

It’s a tragedy that several states such as California continue to crush their businesses and their people when states like Florida have been open since late spring and show no worse Covid numbers than the closed states.

Read more here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/exodus-california-disney-florida


CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke with Fox and Friends about how California businesses are eager to come to Florida, the state with a “whopping 0% income tax.” Of course, the latest company talking about making that move is Walt Disney, a decision that would be huge for both the company and the state of Florida.

Patronis continues to keep working to keep Florida open, something that New York City restaurant owners are finding enticing. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has kept New York closed for so long that many are losing their businesses, where cities like Miami have been open at 100% capacity since October.

Patronis also recently spoke with The Floridian about running for re-election and how he will not shy away from his support of former President Trump and the efforts that he has made here in Florida. Heading into re-election means he isn’t willing to back down and will not go down without a fight.

Watch his full interview here: https://floridianpress.com/2021/02/patronis-ready-for-reelection-says-he-wont-shy-away-from-his-loyalty-to-trump/