DeSantis on Tour w/Dr. Atlas, Lara Trump’s Roundtable, and Trump’s threat to Coastline

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As U.S. passes 6 million cases, DeSantis goes on tour with Trump’s new pandemic advisor who has no infectious disease background

As the United States passed six million cases, Donald Trump’s new pandemic adviser who disagrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on the need for mask mandates, is touring Florida today with Ron DeSantis. Notably, Dr. Scott Atlas is a neuroradiologist who does not have a background in infection diseases or epidemiology.

Monday morning during a roundtable on school reopening, Dr. Atlas said that widespread testing of asymptomatic people, especially at colleges, was unnecessary and downplayed the risk COVID-19 poses to children. This advice is in direct opposition to what Dr. Deborah Birx has advocated for, which is to do entrance and surge testing at universities. 

Furthermore, the new CDC guidelines cited by Dr. Atlas on testing have been widely criticized by medical experts, including Dr. Fauci who said he was “concerned” and was in the hospital – not involved in these discussions – when these changes were made. 

“The last thing Floridians need is another premature victory lap from Donald Trump’s lackeys. We know how it ended last time: coronavirus cases exploded, thousands of people died, and more workers lost their jobs,” said FDP spokesperson Frances Swanson. “Infectious disease experts have been crystal clear for months that widespread testing is the key to controlling the pandemic. Donald Trump has also been crystal clear that he believes more testing makes him look bad and he wants it to ‘slow down.’ While DeSantis goes on tour with a Trump advisor who lacks infectious disease expertise, Floridians are in urgent need of a leader who will actually get the coronavirus pandemic under control.” 

Testing is widely accepted to be the key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic 

  • February is known as the “lost month” because Trump’s failure to rapidly scale testing allowed COVID-19 to spread throughout the United States undetected.
  • Eight weeks after its first infection, South Korea tested nearly 300,000 people. The United States only reported testing 56,000 people in the same time frame.
  • Widely respected infectious disease experts have openly criticized the CDC’s change in testing guidelines, saying widespread testing is critical to containment. President of the American Medical Association, Dr. Susan Bailey, said the new guideline is “a recipe for community spread and more spikes in coronavirus.”
  • Trump is politically motivated to limit testing — during his Tulsa rally in June, Trump said he asked his “people” to “slow the testing down” because it leads to negative press coverage. 

Trump’s rush to reopen schools regardless of whether it’s safe has led to massive outbreaks amongst kids and college students.

  • Trump is pushing forward with his plan to reopen schools in-person regardless of what medical experts say and despite coronavirus cases continuing to rise, while offering zero solutions to help our schools, teachers and students prepare. 
  • As a result, the child infection rate has increased 21% since early August.
  • In the past two and a half weeks in Florida, 9,200 new COVID-19 have been detected among children 
  • There are reports of 8,700 new cases at colleges and universities in 36 states.

Statement on Lara Trump’s Roundtable in West Palm Beach

Yesterday Lara Trump hosted a Women for Trump Roundtable in West Palm Beach to spin Donald Trump’s failed leadership in person. In response to the event, State Senator Lori Berman, who represents parts of Palm Beach County, released the following statement: 

“Lara Trump is campaigning in Palm Beach today to distract from the fact that Donald Trump’s failure to contain the coronavirus has left working moms in an impossible situation as schools reopen and the coronavirus pandemic maintains its grip on our state,” said State Senator Berman. “It didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump refused to do his homework for months  and didn’t bother to make a plan to contain the coronavirus. 

“While families are working overtime to keep their children safe, educated, happy, and fed during this pandemic, Trump has been at the golf course rage-tweeting. The women and families of Palm Beach deserve real leadership from the White House — Joe Biden will stand up for moms and working families, beat COVID-19, and get our country back on the right track.”

MORE ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO WOMEN 

Trump has failed to reduce the cost of childcare and made little progress on paid family leave.

PROMISE: “We’ll Have Better Healthcare At A Much Lower Price. Affordable Childcare And Elder Care Act, Allows Childcare And Elder Care From Their Taxes, And Creates Tax Free Dependent Care Savings Accounts For All American Families.” [Trump Campaign Rally, St. Augustine, FL, 10/28/16]

Trump has a long history of disrespecting and objectifying women 

PROMISE: “Look nobody respects women more than me. Greatest person ever was my mother, believe me, the greatest. [Trump Campaign Rally, Doral FL, 10/23/15]

  • REALITY: Trump has long said sexist remarks about women — from making crude sexual jokes to disparaging their appearance. 

Trump has failed to protect women against discrimination at work and school, especially around equal pay. 

PROMISE:: “I love equal pay. I love equal pay. I do. [Trump Campaign Rally, Claremont NH, 1/5/16]

Trump has used every tool in his arsenal to block and increase the cost of  women’s access to health care after claiming he cared about the issue. 

PROMISE: “Women’s health issues to me are very important.” [Meet The Press, NBC, 8/16/15]


Trump’s Threat to Florida’s Coastlines, Economy

After announcing plans to expand drilling off the coast of Florida in 2017, Donald Trump walked it back after a groundswell of opposition from Floridians who understand the devastation an oil spill would cause the state’s economy and way of life. But we’ve since learned he’s only putting this off until after the November election. Ten years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill polluted many of Florida’s beaches and distressed local economies reliant on pristine natural resources.

If Trump really cared about Florida’s coasts or our waters, he’d do something about it – there’s a bipartisan bill in Congress to permanently ban new drilling in Eastern Gulf of Mexico – and Donald Trump hasn’t lifted a finger to get this done.

Trump’s Empty Promises to Ban Offshore Drilling

  • In 2018, the Trump administration walked back plans to expand drilling off Florida’s coast because it is deeply unpopular in a state dependent on the tourism industry.
  • In 2019, the Trump administration was again considering “auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling.” 
  • In 2020, Politico reported that “The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state.
  • Even Republicans don’t trust Trump to protect Florida from offshore oil drilling. U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, a Naples Republican, recently told the Tampa Bay Times, “If Vice President Biden wins, we’ll have some wind at our back on getting it done. If the president wanted that to happen, it would happen,” referring to a House bill to make the new drilling ban permanent.
  • In an interview with Spectrum News, Donald Trump said “We’re not gonna be drilling, and I’ve already put out that order” — but that order does not exist.

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

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That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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