On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Keith James, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach, Mack Bernard, Palm Beach County Commissioner, and Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party joined a video conference call to discuss how Donald Trump is working for the Mar-a-Lago crowd, not the vast majority of Palm Beach residents who have been hurt by his chaotic leadership and broken promises. The President declared Mar-a-Lago his permanent residence last year and recently returned his mail ballot to Palm Beach County elections office.
In Palm Beach County alone, more than 1,000 people have died due to COVID-19 and 40,000 residents have been infected. Unemployment is in the double digits in PBC, fueled by the devastating impact the coronavirus crisis had on the tourism industry.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CALL
Keith James, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach
“As the Mayor of the largest city in Palm Beach County, I have had a chance to witness the implications, the results of failed leadership at the national level on a first hand basis. Trump’s chaotic presidency and his failed leadership has plunged our country into crisis after crisis after crisis. At the top of the list is his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic. That pandemic has led to Florida having more coronavirus cases than most countries and unemployment in the double digits.”
[…] The Republicans will talk about the so-called violence, but they do not discuss the cause of the unrest in our streets. We have a president who is adding fuel to the racial injustice fire — he is stoking chaos in our cities and he is not bringing our communities, our people together. At this point in time, America needs the steady, unifying, experienced leadership of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to build our country back better.”
Mack Bernard, Palm Beach County Commissioner
“Donald Trump is taking the stage tonight, and based on what we’ve heard over the last three nights — he will grossly overplay what he has done for the county, including for his fellow neighbors in Palm Beach County. Not only did the American people hear no plans for overcoming the pandemic for the second consecutive night of the RNC, but the president’s chief economic adviser even referred to the coronavirus in the past tense.
[…] “The lack of leadership has created a health crisis and an economic crisis. As Mayor James mentioned, tourism in Palm Beach County has suffered. Last year, Palm Beach County took over 54 million in tax dollars from its thriving tourism industry — now officials are projecting the county will receive one third of that revenue. The Global Health Institute put it well: ‘It’s a rollercoaster of recurring outbreaks that creates great uncertainty, for example, around reopening businesses, schools, and other vital parts of the economy.’
[…] “We’ve heard a lot of bluster over the past 3 nights, but the truth is that Donald Trump simply isn’t helping the unemployed — who need both immediate relief and a comprehensive, long term plan to control the pandemic. That is certainly true here in Palm Beach, where we need our tourism industry to come back.”
Terrie Rizzo, Florida Democratic Party Chair
“We’ve heard a lot at this convention so far, but so far, we haven’t actually heard about the issues most relevant to Floridians, including expanding our health care, protecting Social Security, combating climate change, and overcoming the pandemic that has claimed 180,000 lives across our country — including over 10,700 deaths in Florida and over 1,000 here in Palm Beach County — and cost one million Americans their job in the last week alone.”
[…] “So, ahead of Donald Trump’s national convention speech tonight, I hope he thinks long and hard about how his chaotic leadership and broken promises have hurt his neighbors — and I’m not talking about the Mar-a-Lago crowd that he’s been catering to for three and a half years.
“I’m talking about the seniors that haven’t seen their grandchildren for months and are now concerned about losing their Social Security; about the nurses that have bravely saved lives without adequate PPE to keep them safe; about the teachers who have been bullied and threatened by this administration; about the patients with pre-existing conditions terrified of losing their health insurance — the countless others who have been let down by this administration.”
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