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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JULY 21: Parishioners pray at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist on July 21, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As the island is consumed with protesters demonstrating for the ouster of Ricardo Rossello, the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Rev. Benjamin Perez Cruz told the congregation during his Sunday service that they should pray for peace, calm and hope things work out for the positive on the island. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who drew criticism for allowing the state’s beaches to remain open well into the coronavirus pandemic, is catching heat again — this time, for over-riding county officials’ order to close churches.

Defending his decision, DeSantis says he believes religious services are “essential activities” and, therefore, are exempt from the stay-at-home order he issued Wednesday. In a memo issued Thursday, he said his order “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.”

Among those who oppose the governor’s decision is Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Les Miller. “Our hospitals better get ready,” he said in response to the override. “That’s all I’m gonna say.”

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