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Florida Legislators, Doctors Slam DeSantis for Continuing to Take Trump’s Chaotic Lead During Pandemic

Today, on a video press conference, U.S. Reps. Darren Soto and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, State Rep. Fentrice Driskell, Dr. Bernard Ashby, Dr. Kayser Enneking, and Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo slammed Governor DeSantis and President Trump for their continuously chaotic approach to the pandemic that has prioritized big business over the health and well-being of individual Floridians. Nearly four months into this crisis, Trump has not learned from his mistakes, yet DeSantis continues to follow the president’s lead. Trump has not delivered on his promises, failing to institute mass testing and provide our frontline workers with the PPE they need to manage the crisis.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo:

“President Donald Trump has been absolutely chaotic in his response to the coronavirus pandemic and sadly, Governor Ron DeSantis has been following his lead every step of the way. After months of ignoring experts, shirking responsibility, and failing to rapidly scale testing, Trump has sadly shown us that we cannot trust him to lead in this pandemic.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, FL-9, Orlando:

“The keys to reopening our economy are testing and monitoring, and in the long run we will return to normal once we have a vaccine, and we know this because medical professionals and specialists have told us this time and time again. That’s why it boggles the mind to know that no doctor was put on Governor DeSantis’ reopening committee. The GOP has shunned science and experts for years and now there couldn’t be a worse time to have science-denying conspiracy theories at the helm which leads me to the Conspirator-in-Chief.”

[…] “The truth is America does not have enough supplies to run tests, we heard bipartisan groups and governors across the nation state this over and over again. America doesn’t have enough PPE to protect first responders across the nation. This represents the biggest hurdles to reopening our country in a safe way. Trump is not only in complete denial of these facts, but he has the power to fix them and has refused to do so.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, FL-26, Miami:

“We have seen that we have a governor here in the state of Florida that has cared more about following in the footsteps of his ally and supporter, President Donald Trump, than really protecting the lives and health of Floridians…”

“Why is the governor putting together a task force of special interests and business groups instead of consulting with health experts to understand what we need to do to put a plan together to not only help Floridians in pain at this moment, but a plan that is based on science, data, and facts so that we can slowly get people back to work.”

Dr. Bernard Ashby, MD, MPP

“We have a piecemeal approach to dealing with this pandemic. It’s been reactionary instead of proactive and that’s exactly what we don’t want in such circumstances… unfortunately this lack of planning has not only affected our entire population, but has disproportionately affected the black and brown people of our nation…”

[…] The COVID-19 pandemic is a war that we’re facing and during the course of a war, you don’t’ put together an economic panel, you put together a group of generals to deal with the enemy. That’s what we’re not doing and that shows you where our priorities lie…”

State Rep. Fentrice Driskell, HD-63, Tampa

“What we’ve seen as a trend throughout this crisis nationally is a focus on the needs of big business, and unfortunately, that also seems to have trickled down to our state, where there simply has not been a big enough focus on the people.”

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

“Our public health experts say there are several things leaders need to do: they need to be clear, they need to be transparent, they need to be consistent, and they need to be empathetic. We haven’t seen any type leadership like this at the national level, on the state level — we’ve seen this mostly from our local leaders.”

[…] “I was incredibly disappointed at [DeSantis’] reopening committee — not a single frontline worker, not a single health care expert, not a teacher, not an EMT, not doctor, not a nurse. Those people would be able to tell Governor DeSantis and his other task force members really what the impact of this has had on their families, on their communities, and why it is so important we get this right the first time.”

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