DeSantis, who was born on Sept. 14, 1978, and was elected Florida’s governor in 2018, has been one of the highest-profile figures in the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic has sickened more and more Americans.
Here’s what to know about Florida’s governor.
FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about his environmental budget at the Everglades Holiday Park during a new conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DeSantis’ coronavirus response in Florida has come under intense scrutiny. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
He’s a veteran
After getting his law degree, DeSantis served in the Navy, where he was a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, also known as a JAG. According to his previous biography as a member of the House of Representatives, DeSantis was deployed to Iraq in 2007. Additionally, he served at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
He was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus
DeSantis entered Congress in 2013 after winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 2012. There, DeSantis was a part of a robust conservative movement in the House of Representatives at the time, which was largely driven by opposition to former President Obama.
In 2015 he was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus is a group of Republicans who generally more conservative than the typical GOP member, and often a thorn in the side of the party’s more moderate leadership.
He went to Yale and Harvard
DeSantis graduated Yale, where he was the captain of the school’s baseball team, in 2001 with his bachelor’s degree. He then went to Harvard Law School, where he graduated with his J.D. in 2005.
He’s received significant criticism for his state’s coronavirus response
DeSantis, who balked at issuing a stay-at-home order in Florida for weeks, did so on April 1, less than a day after receiving a letter from 13 Democratic members of Congress urging him to “immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives.”
“This pandemic has not respected global borders so it certainly will not respect county borders,” the letter said. “We cannot wait, we cannot leave this decision to county or municipal governments.”
At least 34 total states have issued stay-at-home orders.
His state has also received significant criticism for not enforcing social distancing strongly enough after reports of crowded beaches earlier in March as the U.S. was first grappling with the significance of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.