According to reports, state health officials have confirmed more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in Florida. Last week, the state saw a surge of cases that accounted for more than a fifth of all cases in the state since officials first confirmed the virus’ presence in early March. This grim milestone comes as Trump doubles down on the comments he made at Saturday’s Tulsa rally in which he called coronavirus testing “a double-edged sword” and claimed that he had told advisers to “slow the testing down, please.” Today, when asked if that was true, Trump refused to answer direct questions and suggested if he had slowed it down it was a good thing.
“This is the problem with Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump taking a victory lap before finishing the job — the coronavirus never went away, they just decided to ignore the problem,” said Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, “More than 120,000 Americans have died and cases are rapidly increasing in Florida, but because it doesn’t align with Donald Trump’s re-election strategy, he and Governor DeSantis choose to look the other way and downplay the threat. We need a leader who listens to the experts, puts people first, and faces crises head on — we need to elect Joe Biden in November.”
TRUMP: “If we did slow it down, we wouldn’t show nearly as many cases. … If it did slow down, frankly I think we’re way ahead of ourselves, if you want to know the truth. We’ve done too good a job.” [6.22.20]
TRUMP: “You’re going to find more cases, so I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’” [6.18.20]
TRUMP: “I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history. I’ve created the greatest testing machine in history. And I think testing is overrated. … Look, if we didn’t test all the cases that we’re reporting, you wouldn’t know about any of those cases. In many ways, it makes us look bad.” [6.18.20]
MIAMI HERALD: Florida’s Department of Health on Monday reported 2,926 new infections of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 100,217 confirmed cases. There were also 12 new deaths announced, raising the statewide toll to 3,173.
A Miami Herald analysis of public and non-public COVID-19 data found that through June 3, new cases in Florida had consistently been trending up since mid-May and the trends could not be attributed solely to increases in testing. [6.22.20]
MIAMI HERALD: But many experts disagree. The positivity rate of tests in Florida are on the rise. The World Health Organization has said that in countries that have conducted extensive testing for COVID-19, the rate of positive cases should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days before loosening social-distancing requirements. Over the past 24 hours in Florida, 12.3% of the new tests were positive. [6.20.20]
CNN: “Nearly half of states are reporting a rise in new cases and some continue to break records in their daily reported cases.” [6.22.20]
ICYMI: Hispanic Leaders Call for Ron DeSantis to Apologize for his Attacks Against Hispanics; and Condemn Trump’s Openness to meet with Dictator Maduro
Yesterday, Florida Democrats and Hispanic leaders hosted a press call and demanded Ron DeSantis apologize to the Hispanic community after his latest comments blaming Hispanics for the increase of Coronavirus cases in Florida.
The participants also condemned the recent news about Donald Trump’s openness to meeting with Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and admission of having second thoughts about his recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan Interim President.
Highlights from the call:
Javier Fernández, State Representative (HD-114):“This weekend, President Trump continued his troubling pattern of cozying up to dictators when he said he was willing to meet with Venezuelan Socialist Dictator Nicolas Maduro. Plenty of Republicans have spoken out against this policy, but Ana Maria Rodriguez and Ron DeSantis have been silent. Instead, Gov. DeSantis has been spending his time blaming Hispanic essential workers for the spread of COVID-19. It’s time for both of them to stand up to Trump and stand up for vulnerable people in South Florida and Venezuela.”
Natascha Otero-Santiago, Vice President, Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida:“I’m outraged about these comments from the Governor blaming our community. This is not the first time that this administration has put the blame on the victims of this pandemic to shift away from the blame from themselves, and how their lack of leadership and transparency has brought us here. As a Latina and Puerto Rican, I am angry that DeSantis prefers to attack our community instead of helping. We are asking DeSantis to please release the information showing that Latinos are causing the exponential growth of COVID-19.”
Claudia Mendoza, former president of the DHCF in Palm Beach:“We are demanding respect and answers from the Governor. Hispanics are part of the community. We live in this country, we pay taxes, our kids go to schools, and we don’t deserve to be insulted.”
Cramer Verde, LULAC Political Director:“DeSantis’ accusations are a reflection of his own incompetence and stupidity. Our community should not be treated this way and the Governor needs to issue an apology to us and to the essential workers. This is conceivable.”
Ricky Junquera, FL-House Candidate District 118:“Republican leaders have for months taken every opportunity at a photo op delivering produce to our most vulnerable communities while doing nothing to incorporate our Agriculture Commissioner’s guidance on protecting farmworkers. Now Republicans want to also scapegoat Hispanics because of the Governor and state Republicans’ collective lack of leadership? “The Governor and Republican leadership go out of their way to vilify Hispanic workers while depending on them to support our communities as essential workers. Hispanic farmworkers deserve access and protection, we are dependent on them in our most vulnerable times.”
- Miami Herald: Trump says he’d meet with Maduro to discuss ‘a peaceful exit from power’ in Venezuela
- Orlando Weekly: Florida farmworkers call DeSantis’ comments on ‘overwhelmingly Hispanic’ infection rates ‘shameful’
ICYMI: Former Republican State Rep. and Election Attorney Blasts Trump for Vote By Mail Lies
Yesterday, the Miami Herald published an op-ed by Juan- Carlos ‘J.C.’ Planas, a former Republican State Representative and member of the Miami-Dade County Republican legal team. Planas debunked Donald Trump’s partisan attacks on vote by mail as nothing more than a dangerous electoral strategy that “is an assault on democracy and an attempt to stage an electoral coup.”
Since the Presidential Preference Primary, Florida Democrats have dramatically outperformed Republicans enrolling voters in vote by mail. More than 597,000 Democrats enrolled in vote by mail since March 18th, compared to the more than 351,000 Republicans.
Miami Herald: Juan- Carlos ‘J.C.’ Planas: Trump is flat-out wrong. Mail-in voting is safer, not vulnerable to fraud, like he says | Opinion
- Because the president’s words still influence people, it is critical to lay bare the falsity of his claims about mail-in voting as the voting rights of millions around the country, including many Floridians, are at stake.
- As a former Republican member of the Florida Legislature, whose parents fled political oppression, I am appalled that my community would tolerate such an attack on our voting rights.
- Based on my 16 years of experience, I can assure voters that there is no merit to Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in mail ballots.
- Conversely, we have now seen cases where the desire to thwart possible fraud has led to the rejection of votes that were legally cast by many of our weakest citizens, discarded because of technicalities such as signing their names in the wrong place. This is a form of voter disenfranchisement that must be rejected by all of us who are committed to upholding the fundamental pillars of our democracy.
- It’s an obvious attempt to cause chaos and depress turnout —and do so in a way to turn the electoral tide in his direction, believing his base of support lies predominantly in rural areas less affected by the spread of COVID-19.
- The assault on the right to vote must be stopped dead in its tracks. The false narrative of fraud must be rebuffed with all the air in our lungs. This desire to prevent people from voting by mail is an assault on democracy and an attempt to stage an electoral coup that must be put down immediately.
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