Congresswoman Kathy Castor Statement on Ivanka Trump’s Visit to Tampa

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Today, Ivanka Trump visited Tampa, Florida to campaign for her father as the state announced that more than 13,000 lives have been lost in Florida due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than most countries. 

In response, Congresswoman Kathy Castor released the following statement:
“Ivanka Trump spent the afternoon in my district papering over the suffering Donald Trump has caused Floridians because he lied to the American people and then failed to act when we needed decisive leadership. Americans are less safe because of Trump’s failed coronavirus response. Seven months later, and Trump is still no closer to executing an overarching plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 
“Thousands of my constituents have lost their jobs and, tragically, many have lost their loved ones — but Ivanka Trump came to Tampa today to pat herself and her father on the back. My neighbors deserve better, and that’s what we’re going to get when we elect Joe Biden, a leader who is ready on day one to get us out of this crisis.”
On coronavirus response: “He did the things he needed to do on a federal level — stopping travel from China…” 
FACT: Trump’s China travel “ban” still allowed tens of thousands of people to fly into the U.S. from China—and despite what he claims, the restrictions weren’t even his idea. 

  • Associated Press: “Exempted were thousands of residents of the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau. An analysis of Commerce Department travel entry records and private aviation data obtained by The Associated Press shows that nearly 8,000 Chinese nationals and foreign residents of the territories entered the U.S. on more than 600 commercial and private flights in the first three months after the ban was imposed.” 
  • New York Times: “Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia like illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.” 
  • Axios: “But the assertion that the policy was singularly his idea — and that ‘almost everybody,’ including public health experts, was opposed to it — is ‘very different’ from what actually happened, Woodward said.” 

FACT: Trump’s ineffective response to the coronavirus crisis cost lives and caused the U.S. to have the worst economic impact in the industrialized world 

  • New York Times: “The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the most highly trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — squandered its best chance of containing the virus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe.”  
  • NPR: “The U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 if broad social distancing measures had been put in place just one week earlier in March, according to an analysis from Columbia University.”
  • PolitiFact: “As the following chart shows, the United States was among the few countries to show a dramatic increase in the unemployment rate between January and June… The United States saw its unemployment rate increase from 3.6% to 11.1%. That works out to a little under 3.1 times higher in June than January.  No other country saw such a big increase.”
  • Bloomberg: “Data show Europe’s stronger lockdowns likely contributed to its bigger GDP decline earlier, but may be helping it more recently. Indicators such as credit-card use, travel and location information show euro-area economies such as Germany, France, and Italy, along with Norway and Japan, are closest to their pre-pandemic readings”

On coronavirus relief: Trump was “working with the governors to make sure they had was they need and then making sure Americans had the relief they deserved” 
FACT: Donald Trump lashed out at governors seeking help and sent inadequate supplies to the states 

  • Politico: “President Donald Trump on Thursday put the onus on governors to obtain the critical equipment their states need to fight the coronavirus pandemic, telling reporters that the federal government is “not a shipping clerk” for the potentially life-saving supplies.” 
  • CNN: “Nursing homes receive defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative”
  • Miami Herald: “COVID testing requirements for nursing home staff put into effect this week are “impossible” to meet, operators of South Florida facilities say…But nursing home operators say they don’t have the supplies to conduct the tests.”

FACT: Trump failed to make a deal to provide additional assistance and his executive order doesn’t provide any aid to state and local governments, resulting in more layoffs and states like Florida choosing not to provide enhanced unemployment.

  • New York Times: “The orders will not provide aid to states and local governments, whose tax revenues have plunged as a direct result of the contraction in economic activity brought on by the virus. Without more money from the federal government, states and local governments will almost certainly have to cut their budgets and lay off workers, increasing the ranks of the unemployed.”
  • Washington Post: “But states would have to contribute $100 a week to each worker’s check, with the federal government putting up the rest. Beyond the legal questions surrounding the maneuver, many states are facing severe budget deficits as they fight the coronavirus, and several economists and lawmakers said governors may be unlikely to sign onto the program.”
  • Politico: “Florida‘s Republican governor will end a Trump program to boost unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans because the state’s bare-bones jobless program is too poor to continue qualifying for the federal boost.” 

FACT: Less than half the jobs lost during the pandemic have returned and the economic recovery is slowing 

  • Orlando Sentinel: “Florida tourism will take up to three years to recover from COVID-19, state economist predicts.”
  • CNN: “Wall Street Thinks A Double-Dip Recession Is More Likely Than V-Shaped Recovery” 
  • Washington Post: “The Recession Is Over For The Rich, But The Working Class Is Far From Recovered” 
  • Washington Post’s Heather Long: “Official unemployment rate = 8.4%. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since March but one of worst in modern history. **About 48% of the 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic have returned**” 
  • Washington Post: “But already, economists project that more than 100,000 small businesses have shut permanently since the pandemic escalated in March, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.”

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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.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

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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