'Florida got it right' Gov. DeSantis touts state's pandemic recovery success at CPAC

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave a welcome speech to attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference, also known as CPAC, on Friday morning. 

"For those of you who aren't from Florida, welcome to our oasis of freedom," he said. "We look around at other parts of our country and in far too many places we see schools closed, businesses shuttered and lives destroyed. While so many governors over the last year kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up."

DeSantis touted Florida's success during the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out how the state reopened in phases instead of staying locked down and that the unemployment rate is lower than the national average. 

RELATED: CPAC 2021 speakers on Friday include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump Jr.

"Every Floridian has a right to earn a living and all businesses have a right to operate," DeSantis said. "Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong."

DeSantis said that Florida has lower per capita COVID mortality than the national average and lower than 27 other states. 

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Several other high-profile conservatives are scheduled to take the stage this weekend at the event. Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senator Rick Scott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump, Jr. will all speak on Friday, the second day of CPAC. 

Former President Donald Trump will speak on Sunday.

Watch FOX 35 for complete coverage of CPAC.