DeSantis: Elon Musk positioning Starlink satellites to support FL in wake of Hurricane Ian devastation

Billionaire Elon Musk once again put his money where his mouth is after chiding Vice President Kamala Harris for her politicization of hurricane relief by stepping up in a big way for the people of Florida.

Hundreds of thousands were without power following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian throughout Southwest Florida and as a result, many remained incapable of obtaining vital information for lack of internet access. As a result, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced Saturday that the state is working with Musk and his company SpaceX to alleviate that problem as another measure to aid residents in need.

“They’re positioning the Starlink satellites to provide good coverage in Southwest Florida and other effected areas,” Desantis said during a press conference, where he explained the satellite communications company would be taking on some of the financial burden as well.

“We’re working with SpaceX and we are expecting 120 additional large Starlink units to deploy to Southwest Florida. And so they’ve donated the costs associated with all the coverage,” the governor continued before adding, “So we wanna thank SpaceX and thank Elon Musk for that.”

As it was explained, the devices are reportedly able to support roughly 1,000 users within a 13 mile radius as the low-orbiting satellites interact with the provided Starlink units. DeSantis noted some of the counties where the devices would be utilized included Charlotte, Collier and Lee which alone has more than 750,000 residents, nearly three-quarter of whom were still without power as of Saturday.

“That will help bridge some of the connectivity issues,” the governor said as he explained the units would be based at relief centers.

The fact-based, solution-driven leadership of DeSantis partnered with Musk stood in stark contrast to the divisive, woke messaging from Harris on Friday where she had contended, “It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making.”

“We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity,” Harris said at a DNC event. “Understanding not everyone starts out at the same place, and if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities.”

Without going into the reality that the vast majority of Floridians impacted by Ian were white and that the damage did not differentiate between affluent and lower-income neighborhoods, Musk called out the vice president for politicization with a reaction to a tweet from Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier writing, “Should be according to greatest need, not race or anything else.”

Musk has remained consistent on this front having recently followed up his effort to bring connectivity to the people of Ukraine after the beginning of the Russian invasion by working with the U.S. government, namely the U.S. Treasury Department, to acquire the license needed to activate Starlink in Iran.

His impetus to help the Iranian people had come following the Iranian government shutting down access to the internet in an effort to quell protests sparked by the arrest and reported killing of a 22-year-old journalist, Mahsa Amini, who had allegedly violated Iran’s modesty laws by improperly wearing her hijab.

The CEO’s effort to support hurricane relief in Florida also comes after Musk had previously indicated, having supposedly voted Republican for the first time in his life during the special election of Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX), that he was leaning toward DeSantis for president where the governor to run in 2024.

At the time, DeSantis had responded, “So what I would say, you know I’m focused on 2022 but with Elon Musk, what I would say is you know, I welcome support from African-Americans, what can I say?”


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