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Florida Democrats, Health Care Experts Denounce Trump and DeSantis’ Chaotic Response to the Coronavirus Crisis

“It’s a shame when we have to depend upon local efforts to try to fight off something that should have been headed off with both federal and state responses.”
– Dr. Kayser Enneking

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 Today, U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, Dr. Kayser Enneking, State Rep. Nick Duran, and Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo denounced Donald Trump’s chaotic and delayed response to the coronavirus crisis that has put thousands of Florida’s health care workers and patients in harm’s way. During a press call with reporters, they demanded Governor Ron DeSantis stop taking Trump’s dangerously erratic lead and stressed how Trump ignored warnings about the pandemic for months, worsening the crisis.

From the call:

Dr. Kayser Enneking, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology at University of Florida and candidate for Florida’s 21st House district

“In medicine, hope is not a plan. We are trying to plan for what we’re seeing as a tsunami on the horizon that everyone is hoping won’t hit our island but is bearing down on us…the number of cases in Florida is on the exponential rise, but I want to emphasize how much the lack in testing has impacted our ability to predict where we are in this crisis.

“[…] Those patients [from the Villages] are going to overwhelm our health care system. So my hospital which will oversee many of those patients have done everything in our power to prepare for this. I am really proud of the local efforts that have gone on to prepare for this, but it’s a shame when we have to depend upon local efforts to try to fight off something that should have been headed off with both federal and state responses.”

“[…] The response that we’ve seen from both the state government and the federal government has been based, not on science, but the gut of our leaders.”

Donna Shalala, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 27th Congressional District and former Secretary of Health and Human Services

“What’s even more disturbing for us in Florida is that our governor seems to be taking orders from the president and hesitated and hesitated to declare stay-in place orders for everyone in Florida. We have a governor that does not believe he serves the people of Florida, but rather kowtows to the President of the United States. He has put us in a dangerous situation and numerous people will die because our governor hesitated to put orders in place that would save lives.”

Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party

“Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been delayed and chaotic — the impact of which we are already feeling in Florida, where the number of confirmed cases is skyrocketing. Trump wasted precious time downplaying the threat to the public, failing to scale-up testing at the onset of the pandemic, and ignoring health care experts pleading for the federal government to stock up on necessary supplies.

Trump wants us to believe this crisis was completely unexpected, but that’s just not true. Trump was warned about this pandemic months ago and he failed to take decisive action. He received intelligence reports about the threat of COVID-19 in January and instead of working to contain the virus, he downplayed the threat to the public and called it a’“Democratic hoax.’”

Nick Duran, State Representative for Florida’s 112th House District, Democratic Ranking Member of the Health and Human Services Committee and Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee;

“It feels like the state of Florida has been walking two steps behind where we need to actually be in order to confront and take something on… It feels as though we are continuing to take cues from the president in order to make things happen, which isn’t helping the state of Florida.

“[…] Because we have not expanded Medicaid, because we have not chosen to run our own marketplace, we are left with a state that doesn’t have the nimble set up to say we want to open up the marketplace and allow folks who are now uninsured who may be able to receive premiums through the Affordable Care Act to purchase marketplace plans at a really low level. That isn’t something we can do.”

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