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Surprise! NBC Highlights Florida Stealing Businesses from Blue Lockdown States

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On Saturday evening, the NBC Nightly News showed a report by correspondent Sam Brock which surprisingly portrayed Florida as as an economic success because of its less strict anti-COVID regulations, as opposed to California and New York, leading many restaurants to relocate to Florida.

On the down side, it was not mentioned that well-managed Florida is controlled by Republicans while California and New York are run by Democrats.

After weekend anchor Jose Diaz-Balart set up the report by linking the pandemic to “fueling the economic boom” in Florida, in the pre-recorded piece, Brock began by noting that many businesses are “migrating” to the state.

Then came a soundbite of restaurateur Craig O’Keefe complaining about regulations in California: “You know, California, our restaurants are still outdoor dining only. The hospitality industry at 25 percent and 50 percent ii these companies are just not going to be able to stay afloat. Not now, not ever.”

Brock further linked Florida’s good fortune to excessive pandemic regulations in California and New York as he continued:

Craig O’Keefe’s San Diego-based Cliques Hospitalities is finding more fertile ground in Florida, where restaurants can open at 100 percent indoors. O’Keefe says with five more properties on the way and hundreds of jobs at stake, safety and growth can co-exist. The lure of different rules has ushered in a wave of high-profile New York restaurateurs. From South Beach to Palm Beach. La Goulue has been a Manhattan mainstay for half a century.

Soon came clips of New York restaurant owner Jean Denoyer explaining why he moved to Florida:

JEAN DENOYER, RESTAURANTEUR: It’s a piece of cake to operate in Palm Beach, very difficult to operate in Manhattan.

BROCK: Was it so difficult that it actually pushed you to leave New York and come down to Florida?

DENOYER: Indeed.

Toward the end of his report, Brock informed viewers that, in spite of the differences in anti-COVID regulations, there has been little difference in per capita infection rates among the three states. “Florida so far has reported 1.9 million cases of COVID and more than 31,000 deaths, but NBC news figures show despite vastly different rules California, Florida, and New York City have nearly identical per capita case rates. Better than the majority of the country.”

NBC focused on cases, not deaths. New York state has more than 47,000 deaths, and 245 deaths per 100,000 (second worst in America), far higher than Florida’s 146.

This episode of the NBC Nightly News was sponsored in part by Prevagen. Their contact information is linked. Let them know you appreciate such refreshing reporting that debunks much of the liberal media’s push for more pandemic restrictions.

Transcript follows:

NBC Nightly News

March 6, 2021

JOSE DIAZ BALART: Florida is a haven for snowbirds, but now, during the pandemic, businesses are fueling an economic boom for the Sunshine State. Tonight, Sam Brock on why so many are heading South.

SAM BROCK: On a bustling stretch of downtown Del Rey Beach, you’ll find more than 100 restaurants, and many — like newly opened Lionfish — are migrating in from out of state. Are you making a conscious decision to invest in Florida because of what’s happening here?

CRAIG O’KEEFE, RESTAURANTEUR: Yes, absolutely. You know, California, our restaurants are still outdoor dining only. The hospitality industry at 25 percent and 50 percent ii these companies are just not going to be able to stay afloat. Not now, not ever.

BROCK: Craig O’Keefe’s San Diego-based Cliques hospitalities is finding more fertile ground in Florida, where restaurants can open at 100 percent indoors. O’Keefe says with five more properties on the way and hundreds of jobs at stake, safety and growth can co-exist. The lure of different rules has ushered in a wave of high-profile New York restaurateurs. From South Beach to Palm Beach. La Goulue has been a Manhattan mainstay for half a century. Founder Jean Denoyer just opened a sister spot here.

JEAN DENOYER, RESTAURANTEUR: It’s a piece of cake to operate in Palm Beach, very difficult to operate in Manhattan.

BROCK: Was it so difficult that it actually pushed you to leave New York and come down to Florida?

DENOYER: Indeed.

BROCK: Proponents of this pro-business boom like influential real estate developer Craig Menin were able to plow ahead with major projects through the pandemic like the Del Rey Market and upscale Rey Hotel — both opening in the coming months. He says there’s a move here across industries from tech to finance to restaurants.

CRAIG MENIN, MENIN DEVELOPMENT: The sell is so easy that we’re being recruited. We’re not recruiting. People want to be down here.

BROCK: Florida so far has reported 1.9 million cases of COVID and more than 31,000 deaths, but NBC news figures show despite vastly different rules California, Florida, and New York City have nearly identical per capita case rates. Better than the majority of the country.

MENIN: And I just think it gives people hope that there is a future that’s much more normal than we’re being told in other places they can live.

BROCK:  As America tries to find a path toward reopening and recovering Florida is certainly creating its own recipe. Sam Brock NBC News, Del Ray Beach.



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