In response to Ben Carson’s photo op in Tampa and Orlando today, Florida Democratic Party Director of Rapid Response Frances Swanson released the following statement: “Even before the pandemic, many Floridians were struggling to pay rent and make ends meet. In 2018, Donald Trump’s failed response to Hurricane Michael devastated the panhandle and left thousands homeless. Now, his chaotic pandemic response and cratering economy have made things even worse, especially in communities of color. Just this month, 30% of Americans missed their housing payments. Whatever Carson says today, he can’t spin Trump’s record of broken promises to Floridians. We don’t need another photo op — we need a president who can lead us out of this crisis, and this November we’re going to get one in Joe Biden.”
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES ON HOUSING TO FLORIDIANS
Promise: “The opportunity zones have been incredible, it’s been one of the really great things in terms of investment in areas and in terms of unemployment.” [June 17, 2020, Fox News]
Reality: A new study shows that opportunity zones like the one Carson is visiting today mainly help “large real estate projects while many low-income communities have yet to benefit.”
Promise: “We’re doing a lot of things and that includes additional Hurricane Michael relief funding immediately. The money is coming immediately. No games, no gimmicks, no delays, we’re just doing it, we’re just doing it. And by the way FEMA. My people at FEMA. FEMA did a tremendous job here and elsewhere, by the way.” [May 8, 2019, Panama City Beach, Florida]
Reality: The Trump administration failed to address disaster survivors’ most basic need: a safe, stable, affordable home. At the time of Trump’s visit to the panhandle in 2019, FEMA had not provided adequate rental assistance or alternative housing, such as trailers or mobile homes, to many people made homeless by the storm.
Reality: It is estimated that the storm forced 5,000 students into homelessness and one out of seven kids hadn’t returned to school as of May 2019. After the storm, families slept in tents while waiting for assistance.
Governor DeSantis blames Hispanics for increase in coronavirus cases
FLORIDA – This week saw the largest increase in coronavirus cases since the crisis began in Florida, currently in Phase 2 of re-opening. Yesterday, Governor DeSantis tried to blame the dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Florida on the Hispanic community, conveniently ignoring the reality that his incompetent response to COVID-19.
In response to DeSantis’ accusations, the Deputy Communications Director at the Florida Democratic Party, Luisana Pérez Fernández released the following statement:
“It’s not the first time that Ron DeSantis has attacked the Hispanic community for his political benefit. Like his friend and mentor Donald Trump, DeSantis launched his campaign by attacking Hispanic people and has promoted anti-immigrant laws like SB168. Now he wants to blame Hispanics for the uptick in cases, knowing full well that he and Donald Trump did not prepare us for this crisis. Florida Republicans have done nothing but feign control of this crisis, all the while cases continue rising day after day. I know that this August and this November, their incompetence is finally going to catch up to them at the polls.”
6/19/20, Orlando Weekly, Florida farmworkers call DeSantis’ comments on ‘overwhelmingly Hispanic’ infection rates ‘shameful’
- “Farm workers are pushing back after Gov. Ron DeSantis said clusters of “overwhelmingly Hispanic” day laborers and agriculture workers are the source for Florida’s recent surge in coronavirus cases.”
- “The Republican governor told reporters on Tuesday that migrant workers and Hispanic construction workers have been testing positive for COVID-19, in part, because of cramped living and working conditions.”
- ‘“Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there’s all these opportunities to have transmission,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Tallahassee.”
- “But members of the tightly knit agricultural enclave say it isn’t the farmworkers’ fault that they are getting sick.”
- “They maintain the federal government has deemed them “essential workers” and the state has been slow to provide the community with the resources farmworker advocates have requested to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.”
- “Antonio Tovar, executive director of the Farmworker Association of Florida, accused DeSantis of ignoring pleas from a coalition of 50 groups that asked the governor for help in late April.”
- “Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried also highlighted the farmworkers’ plight in a 10-page report submitted to a task force set up by the governor to make recommendations about reopening the state following widespread shutdowns in response to the novel coronavirus.”
- “Fried asked the task force to provide better health care services to farmworkers to prevent the spread of COVID-19, noting that less than half of farm workers have health insurance. She also called on the state to provide more face coverings for workers and less crowded housing options.”
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