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Castor continues to be the face of crisis in Tampa Bay

Tampa’s mayor appears on NPR’s ‘Morning Edition,’ saying she didn’t understand why Gov. Ron DeSantis exempted religious services from statewide order
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor continues to be the national face of Tampa Bay's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, her latest national  appearance was on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor continues to be the national face of Tampa Bay's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, her latest national appearance was on NPR's "Morning Edition." [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Apr. 2, 2020
Updated Apr. 2, 2020

Jane Castor told a national radio audience Thursday morning that she was confident her city’s actions will have flattened the curve enough to avoid overloading hospitals when the peak hits.

Tampa’s mayor appeared on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” shortly after 6 a.m. in a brief interview with host Rachel Martin.

Castor said Tampa had acted quickly enough to avoid a shortage of hospital beds, including the countywide safer-at-home order that went into effect last week. The city’s residents are adhering to social distancing and the city’s large companies acted early to keep their workers at home, she said.

Responding to a question about the timing of DeSantis’ order, which won’t take effect until 12:01 a.m. Friday, Castor quipped: “I guess the phrase, ‘Better late than never’ would apply.”

But she didn’t dwell on whether the governor dawdled, saying an “after-action” analysis would determine who was right and who was wrong in their response to the outbreak.

Castor did take issue with DeSantis’ decision to exempt religious services from the statewide order.

“I’m not sure why that was included in there,” she told Martin, adding that her conversations with Tampa ministers made clear that they had alternate ways to hold online services.

Related: Tampa church holds packed service

After the on-air interview, Martin called Castor back to ask more questions and an expanded interview may air later today, said Castor spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.

NPR’s “Morning Edition” can be heard locally on FM 89.7 WUSF or streamed online at npr.org.

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