‘Whatever happens, happens’: Defiant spring breakers scorched for still not getting the message


Shocking images of crowded Florida beaches sparked a backlash that intensified as defiant students refused to let the coronavirus pandemic ruin their Spring Break plans.

In a video shared by CBS News, vacationing students dismissed the COVID-19 warnings and declared they were going to “party” regardless of the consequences.

“God help our country,” Meghan McCain, co-host on”The View” tweeted in response to the video, joining an outpouring of condemnation on Twitter.

“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying,” Brady Sluder from Ohio said in the video. “We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered a 5:00 p.m. closing for all bars and nightclubs in the state for the next 30 days during a news conference on Tuesday, also asking Florida’s 12 public universities to move to distance learning for students. And while he recommended restaurants encourage takeout orders and reduced dining-in capacity, he did not order beaches to be closed.

That changed pretty quickly however, as the guidelines and warnings fell on deaf ears for those in their twenties. DeSantis told spring breakers that “the party’s over,” as he announced on Fox News that every beach will have to follow the CDC guidelines of “social distancing” and that “no more than 10 people” should be gathered.

The Republican governor added that “not every beach is going to remain open, but some will.”

Students flocking to beaches in the last few days earned angry rebukes for endangering residents of the Sunshine State.

“It’s really messing up with my spring break,” Brianna Leeder said in the ABC News video, apparently annoyed at the inconvenience caused by the governor’s directives. “I think they’re blowing it way out of proportion.”

Shelby Cordell voiced her frustration as well, saying the vacationing students are just “trying to get drunk before everything closes.”

There are currently over 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida and eight people have died due to the illness, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and a few other localities announced this week that they would be closing their beaches.

“We have to do everything possible to minimize crowds and unfortunately our beaches must be part of our plan. I want to be clear that this is not an overreaction, but a way for us to help stop further cases of COVID-19 in our community,” Miami Beach city commissioner Ben Sorenson said, according to CBS Miami.

Miami -Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez shut down all parks and beaches in the county as of 9 a.m on Thursday, announcing an order he signed that closed off businesses like casinos, nail salons, spas, malls, indoor amusement parks and golf courses.

Reacting to reports of packed beaches and carefree spring breakers, Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld joked that parents of the kids in their twenties should lie about the virus outbreak to have them take it more seriously and stay at home.

“We almost need to lie to them, you have to tell them that it is a sexually transmitted disease because then they won’t go to spring break — if you said this is worse than herpes, then they might like go home,” he said on “The Five” this week, adding that it’s not surprising “that young people engage in high-risk activity.”

“Now you want them to see how their behavior affects others…and if they can’t understand that then they’re not worth talking to, but that’s the problem because now it’s no longer about them,” Gutfeld said.

His co-host, Dana Perino, was more serious in her criticism, advising future employers, “if you find out that any of these people that think you might hire went to spring break or went to the bar or disregarded public health officials, I wouldn’t hire them.”

The CBS video posted on Wednesday sparked renewed backlash on Twitter.

“If these fools were just endangering themselves , that’d be fine by me. But they are not. They are endangering all Americans,” Stanford professor Michael McFaul tweeted.

“I hope CBS News got contact info for all of these people so they can go back to them in six months…..,” journalist Yashar Ali wrote.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.

Frieda Powers

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