Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has indicated he is prepared and ready to address the effects of Hurricane Idalia on the Sunshine State.
Though he did not specify for how long he will pause his presidential campaign, the governor told reporters that "you do what you need to do" in such situations, citing his work in dealing with Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida last September during his gubernatorial campaign, as Fox News reported.
When asked at a press conference in Tallahassee on Tuesday how long he is "planning on staying in Florida and off of the campaign trail" prior to the hurricane's anticipated Wednesday landfall.
DeSantis responded, "Well, this is no different. You remember Ian, we were in the midst of a governor campaign."
"I had all kinds of stuff scheduled, not just in Florida, around the country. You know, we were doing different things and, you know, you do what you need to do. I mean, and so that’s what we’re doing," he continued. "It’s going to be no different than what we did during Hurricane Ian."
"I’m hoping this storm is not as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian was, but we’re going to do what we need to do because it’s just something that’s important. But it’s no different than what we’ve done in past iterations of all this stuff," he added.
According to the DeSantis campaign, the storm was expected to start hitting Florida with severe gusts as early as late Tuesday, and it would reach on the state's Gulf Coast by Wednesday.
It's the first hurricane of the season, and it might strike a major blow to Florida, which is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Ian. Fourty-six of the state's 67 counties are currently under an emergency declaration.
As the storm passed Cuba early Tuesday morning, Idalia was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, according to FOX Weather. It is anticipated to become a significant hurricane with "life-threatening" storm surge when it makes landfall Wednesday morning on Florida's western coast.
FOX weather reported that as of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Idalia was 85 miles north of the western point of Cuba and 370 miles south-southwest of Tampa. The maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Idalia are 75 mph, with higher gusts, and it is moving north at 14 mph.
Earlier this week, DeSantis made comment about a "political season" while discussing the "life-threatening" storm's affect on Florida.
Following the hurricane's landfall, Republican frontrunner President Donald Trump said in a post on Truth Social, "Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by Hurricane Idalia. I urge everyone to listen to your local officials, heed all warnings, and prioritize the safety of yourself and your loved ones."
"I’ve witnessed the courage, strength, and spirit of the great people of Florida many times over the years! Together, they will recover and rebuild, but in the meantime, be safe. Love and respect to everyone. God bless you all!"
DeSantis made comments on Monday about the political campaign, stating of the hurricane, "This is something that could potentially cost somebody their life, that could cost them their livelihood. And we have a responsibility as Americans to come together and do what we can to mitigate any damage and to protect people."