Latest blow to Trump’s Jacksonville Ego Trip: Sheriff says “we can’t pull it off”
The Republican National Convention continues to face strong opposition from Jacksonville locals, this time from the sheriff’s office. Monday, the Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams, a Republican, said “we can’t pull it off in any kind of current configuration. But again, it’s not my job to plan the RNC. It’s my job to be able to provide security for it, but I can’t do it right now in this time frame with this current configuration of the event.”
In response, Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Frances Swanson released the following statement:
“Trump is putting the Jacksonville community at risk by recklessly pushing forward with this last-minute convention despite the obvious health and safety concerns. Jacksonville voters are seeing first hand the consequences of Trump’s chaotic and self-absorbed leadership — and will be holding him accountable in November.”
- The sheriff of Jacksonville, Fla., said he can’t provide security for the Republican National Convention because of a lack of clear plans, adequate funding and enough law enforcement officers.
- “As we’re talking today, we are still not close to having some kind of plan that we can work with that makes me comfortable that we’re going to keep that event and the community safe,” Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams told POLITICO.
- The controversy deals one of the biggest potential blows to Trump’s decision to hold an in-person nominating convention during a pandemic. The proposal has already been beset by concerns over safety and reports of high-profile Republicans declining to attend.
- Trump has since backed off his demand for a full-blown convention, but the proposal has continued to meet logistical hurdles as the RNC has failed to commit on specifics, such as whether Trump would have his nomination at an indoor arena or an outdoor arena. The RNC could not immediately be reached.
- “There’s a fear of telling him no because anyone who tells the president no, it’s like, off with their heads,” Chitwood said.
- “At virtually 75 days it was an incredible lift, and everything would have to be perfect. And needless to say it has not,” Williams said. “So you know with that, we can’t pull it off in any kind of current configuration. But again, it’s not my job to plan the RNC. It’s my job to be able to provide security for it, but I can’t do it right now in this time frame with this current configuration of the event.”
This announcement is the latest in a series of blows to the RNC:
Lawsuit to declare RNC a ‘nuisance,’ filed against the city, the Republican National Committee, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and ASM Global Parent Inc.
Florida Times-Union: “A Jacksonville attorney asked a judge Wednesday to declare next month’s Republican National Convention a nuisance “injurious to the health” of residents and require it to be a smaller event with masks and social distancing to prevent spread of the coronavirus.”
Jacksonville voters overwhelmingly oppose the RNC
Politico: “Jacksonville voters don’t want the Republican National Committee’s convention to come to town, with most expressing concern that the event could spread the coronavirus. A poll by the University of North Florida found that 58 percent of Jacksonville voters surveyed oppose the RNC convention.”
500 doctors and medical professionals signed a letter opposing the convention, citing public health concerns
Action News Jax: “More than 500 doctors and medical personnel signed a letter calling the Republican National Convention “medically disrespectful.”
First Coast News: “Allowing this number of people to descend on Jacksonville is unequivocally provocative of disease, predictably harmful, and medically disrespectful to the citizens of this city, much less the rest of the country. There will be increased hospitalizations, long-term health problems, and deaths. At greatest risk are our most vulnerable populations: the poor, the elderly, and those with underlying conditions.”
80 faith leaders signed an open letter opposing the convention, citing the surge in coronavirus cases, economic pressure, and racial tension
Florida Times-Union: “Concerns about the rising coronavirus numbers, racial tension and potential cost to city residents prompted dozens of prominent Jacksonville clergy to ask city officials to rethink hosting the Republican National Convention here.”
Prominent Republican senators have announced that they will not be attending the RNC
Washington Post: “Four Republican senators said Tuesday that they will not attend next month’s Republican National Convention, where the party will renominate President Trump, citing the demands of their own campaigns or simply deciding to skip the gathering in Jacksonville, Fla.”
Des Moines Register: “Citing concerns about the coronavirus, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said he will not attend this year’s Republican National Convention, marking the first time he has sat out a convention since he was elected to the U.S. Senate 40 years ago.”
Major Republican Donors, Strategists Not On Board
New York Times: “Everybody just assumes no one is going,” said Representative Darin LaHood of Illinois, an honorary state co-chairman for the Trump campaign.
New York Times: “Organizers are trying to assuage vexed Republicans who collectively gave millions of dollars for a Charlotte event that has mostly been scrapped. The host committee there has spent virtually all of the $38 million it raised before the convention was moved, leaving almost nothing to return to donors, or to pass on to the new host city.”
Tampa Bay Times: “I do think the Republican Party will be hell bent on this convention and it will happen,” one GOP consultant said. “The questions is ‘Will it be like Tulsa?’ Only time will tell. As of now, you couldn’t pay me to attend that convention. Too much risk for silly hats and bourbon.”
How Trump Has Failed to Deliver for Caregivers, Educators, Seniors
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to create a 21st-century caregiving and education workforce. Biden’s leadership stands in sharp contrast with Donald Trump, who has failed to protect our seniors, pushed to reopen schools despite safety concerns, and broken his promises to address the high cost of child care.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:
“Joe Biden’s recent Build Back Better plan shows us what we’ve known for a long time — Biden is committed to building an economy that is rooted in uplifting working families and keeping our communities safe. Donald Trump has shown that his only commitment is to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.
“Trump never delivered on his promises to address child care costs, is recklessly demanding schools reopen amidst the raging coronavirus pandemic, and has utterly failed to deliver the PPE and testing nursing homes needed to keep their staff and residents safe.
“Enough is enough. Floridians deserve a leader capable of following through on his promises and prioritizing our caregivers — that leader is Joe Biden.”
Nursing homes have been particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic, yet Trump has pushed to relax regulations and failed to provide them with necessary resources
- Nursing homes account for over 45% of Florida’s coronavirus deaths and are experiencing a ‘category five-level emergency’ as cases rise in these facilities.
- The Trump administration refused to mandate universal testing at nursing homes and failed to coordinate regular testing of nursing home staff. The Trump administration was slow to track cases and ultimately gave nursing homes a pass on reporting prior to early May, obscuring the full toll.
- Months after coronavirus began spreading across the country, many nursing homes and long-term care facilities still report that they lack needed PPE.
- The Trump administration relaxed training requirements for caregivers during the pandemic, and continued consideration of pre-pandemic plans to weaken infection control rules at those facilities.
Trump broke his child care promises, leaving working families in the dust
- In 2016, Trump promised he would help “working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work and have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids.”
- Trump’s tax scam reduced the value of the child and dependent care tax credit for many working families while handing massive giveaways to billionaires and corporations.
- Even after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration scaled back paid leave requirements for employers, allowing many companies to decline to provide sick leave for child care.
- Trump’s family leave proposal forces parents to “borrow from their future selves,” fails to cover care for sick family members or protect parents’ jobs while on leave.
Trump has no plan to keep students and teachers safe, but is demanding they re-open despite warnings from health experts
- In Florida, educators and parents are deeply concerned about the danger of fully re-opening schools as the state continues to experience community spread of coronavirus. Florida’s largest teacher’s union filed a lawsuit against Governor DeSantis to block the opening of in-person classes, citing concern for safety.
- While Trump and DeVos continue to downplay the risks, millions of teachers and older adults who live with children are at high risk of complications from coronavirus, and studies show older children actually spread the virus at higher rates than adults.
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