Beaches in Jacksonville, Florida, reopened on April 17th as officials eased social distancing measures, which prompted plenty of people to go straight to the seaside. 

Images of thousands of people were captured on Jacksonville Beach on Friday evening spread across the internet, resulting in plenty of hate.

The mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry was very defensive about the national coverage in a series of tweets on Saturday.

“We need methodical steps to open our cities,” Curry tweeted. “Shutting down cities indefinitely is not an option. National media has responsibility here. I’m gonna lead a step by step way forward. Governors and mayors will do the same. National media please think responsibly before u publish.”

“Citizens make decisions based on what is reported by media,” he wrote in another tweet. “This worldwide pandemic has given certain cable news outlets and international media an issue to drive ratings. Local journalists/media will share the facts. Tune into and read local news.”

“While there was a large crowd when the beaches reopened, people are following guidelines,” Nikki Kimbleton, Curry’s spokeswoman, told the Washington Post. “There’s been a vast difference in crowd size since that initial 5 p.m. Friday opening.”

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