ICYMI: Trump’s Convention Chaos Cost Jacksonville Taxpayers
New reporting from the Florida Times-Union exposed that Jacksonville taxpayers are footing a six-figure bill to pay for Donald Trump’s reckless decision to move the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville after being told they must follow coronavirus safety guidelines in North Carolina.
Trump’s ego trip hit a series of roadblocks that culminated in the Duval County Sheriff saying that they would not be able to provide security for the event, citing inadequate time and resources.
“In one way or another, Donald Trump’s chaotic leadership during this pandemic has cost Floridians dearly, but now it’s clear that Jacksonville taxpayers are paying extra for Trump’s incompetence,” said FDP spokesperson Frances Swanson. “Trump’s ego-trip wasted precious time and resources during a pandemic, proving once again that Trump puts himself first, and Americans last.”
- “The Republican National Convention never happened in Jacksonville, but the city still could end up absorbing $154,000 in convention-planning expenses ‘above and beyond’ City Hall’s normal day-to-day operating costs, according to information given Wednesday to City Council members.”
- “More than half the cost stemmed from overtime pay for employees working to prepare for the convention, mainly by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employees who were tasked with getting security preparations done in a tight time frame.”
- “Jacksonville won the competition to host most of the convention in late August after President Donald Trump soured on original host city Charlotte, N.C. But six weeks after Jacksonville got the nod, Trump decided July 23 against having the convention here because of public health concerns caused by a summertime surge in COVID-19 virus infections.”
- “Other costs associated with a convention would have been paid for by a local host committee responsible for raising millions of dollars in private donations.”
- “It’s not clear how much the host committee raised. Federal Election Commission data shows 2020 Jacksonville Host Committee, Inc. is registered as a committee, but the FEC does not show any reports for money raised and spent by that committee.”
Trump Failed to Protect Nursing Home Residents, Frontline Workers
Residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are among the highest risk for COVID-19, accounting for at least 4,811 coronavirus deaths in Florida. While the Trump administration pays lip service to nursing homes —including at a roundtable in Tampa today with Seema Verma, Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services— the reality is that Donald Trump has yet to provide the resources needed to protect the people living and working inside these facilities.
“It’s been six months since Donald Trump promised Americans that ‘anybody that wants a test can get a test,’ yet he has still not fulfilled that basic promise,” said FDP spokesperson Frances Swanson. “While Trump and his administration continue to pat themselves on the back, the truth is that they have simply been too ineffective to provide the resources necessary to protect our most vulnerable communities.”
MORE ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO NURSING HOMES
TRUMP: “Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.” [March 6th]
REALITY: Sun Sentinel: South Florida nursing home operators say new COVID testing rules are ‘impossible’ to meet [September 3]
- “But nursing home operators say they don’t have the supplies to conduct the tests.”
- “In recent weeks, the federal government has delivered antigen testing machines to nursing homes nationwide. The new antigen tests are somewhat less sensitive than lab tests, but have a 15-minute turnaround time and can process 10 to 20 tests per hour.”
- ‘Some Florida nursing home operators who received the machines report they are still waiting for instructions and test kits to make them usable.”
- “Knapp said 70 nursing homes in Florida still have not received their antigen test machines from the federal government.”
PENCE: “We are going to continue to make sure that people that are caring for the most vulnerable, today, tomorrow and every day in the future, have the resources and the support that they need” [May 20th]
REALITY: AP: 1 in 5 nursing homes short on PPE and staff in virus rebound [August 20th]
- “One in five U.S. nursing homes faced severe shortages of protective gear like N95 masks this summer even as the Trump administration pledged to help, according to a study released Thursday that finds facilities in areas hard-hit by COVID-19 also struggled to keep staff.”
- “They found that during the early part of the summer, 20.7% percent of nursing homes reported a severe PPE shortage, with one week or less of available supply. Shortages of N95 masks — recommended for health care providers — were the most common. The situation had barely changed by midsummer, with 19.1% of nursing homes reporting severe shortages.”
REALITY: CNN: Nursing homes receive defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative [June 11th]
- “In late April, President Donald Trump announced an effort to shore up supplies to nursing homes, whose residents and staff have been among those most at risk of Covid-19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was at the helm of the effort to send additional shipments to nursing homes.”
- “For weeks, nursing home associations have tried to call attention to the elderly population and the lack of supplies to properly care for them.”
- “The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the US, said facilities have received supplies, but agreed ‘these shipments will not be enough to ensure our facilities have an adequate amount of vital protective supplies in the months ahead.’”
- “In late March, the Health and Human Services inspector general launched a review into nursing homes and their preparedness, acknowledging that long-term care facilities are “particularly vulnerable” to disease outbreaks.”
Florida Democratic Party Statement on August Jobs Report
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its August jobs report, showing that over 13.6 million Americans are still out of work:
“Donald Trump will go down in history as the worst jobs president on record, and today’s report shows us that even with some gains, Trump has left our economy in a deep hole,” said chair of the Florida Democratic Party Terrie Rizzo. “Florida’s trash unemployment system and shuttered tourism industry have only made matters worse here in Florida. Trump’s empty promises and chaotic leadership has led to more job loss and more uncertainty for small business owners. Joe Biden has the experience and skills we need to recover from this crisis and build back our economy stronger than ever before.”
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