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Florida Democratic Party Responds to DeSantis’ Phase 1 Announcement: "Where are the tests?"

One day after his media stunt in the White House with President Trump on the deadliest day of this pandemic in Florida, Governor DeSantis has released his Phase 1 plan to reopen the state. His plan is based on findings from his Re-Open Florida Task Force Executive Committee laden with big business executives and Republican loyalists, but devoid of representation from labor, frontline medical professionals, or epidemiologists.

In response, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:

“More than 1,000 Floridians have died in this pandemic, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Governor DeSantis’ indignant press conference today. Just like Trump, DeSantis did not spend his time at the bully pulpit thanking frontline workers or consoling families who have lost loved ones, but deriding the media and ‘doom and gloom’ scientific models that showed a no-action scenario. Enough with the self-congratulatory media performances, where are the tests?”

Though testing has certainly increased, Florida is testing below the national average and ranks 22nd in per-capita testing. In the press conference, DeSantis claimed Florida would ramp up to 30,000-40,00 tests by early next week, which is more than triple the current statewide average of 12,144 tests a day. DeSantis highlighted a few specific programs, but did not explain how Florida can double testing in less than a week.

Notably, Donald Trump has similarly broken his promises on testing, falsely claiming on March 6th that “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.” Nearly two months later and that statement is still not true. Trump has yet to produce a plan that actually tests at the capacity health experts demand.

As Florida’s hospitals run low on testing supplies, Governor DeSantis failed to take the opportunity he had yesterday in the Oval Office to ask President Trump why he isn’t doing more to help states acquire these critical supplies that are foundational to reopening our economy.

Joe Biden has laid out a plan to safely reopen America – building a bridge from today’s medical crisis through to a vaccine, with five key milestones. Read Vice President Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus crisis.

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