Ahead of Trump’s Florida Rally, Statewide Leaders Share Personal Experiences with Coronavirus Pandemic, Trump’s Mismanagement

“My sister died because this President lied. He lied to her. He lied to us. He lied to this country.” — Miami Gardens Councilwoman Katrina Wilson 

“Joe Biden, time and time again, says he’s fighting for the soul of the nation. It’s not just the soul of the nation he’s fighting for, it’s the lives of the people who live in this nation.”  — Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

Ahead of Donald Trump’s scheduled rally in Sanford, the Florida Democratic Party held a virtual press conference with statewide leaders who shared their personal stories of being affected by COVID-19 and highlighted the devastating consequences of Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic to families across Florida. Just days ago, Trump said, “don’t let it dominate your lives,” proving once again that he doesn’t understand that this pandemic, worsened by his own mismanagement, is upending people’s lives across this nation. 

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, HD-101

“He says, ‘Don’t let it dominate your life.’ Well, I want him to tell that to the families of the more than 213,000 people, [because] COVID has devastated their lives due to loss of a loved one. He said, ‘Don’t let it dominate your life.’ Well, I want him to tell that to Miss Clinch, who is my fifth grade teacher and she’s also my church member, who is now in the nursing home, who is having to learn to walk again after being on a ventilator for 28 days.

“That’s why we need a leader who has handled crises before, who has handled a pandemic before, and that leader is Joe Biden. That’s why we need a leader who will not hold back resources, only because the governor of a particular state is from a different party than he is. And that leader is Joe Biden.”

“…We’re here on this press conference today to share our experiences, to share why we need a leader who knows how to handle this pandemic, and to let it be known that this is not a hoax, this is not a game. We have family members who have been affected by this, we ourselves have been affected by this, and we stand firmly and let it be known that we’re going to work hard every day to put a leader in the White House to restore the soul of this nation, who cares about the health care of every last one of us — Democrat, Republican, Black, White, it doesn’t matter.”

Miami Gardens Councilwoman Katrina Wilson 

“So my sister, not only did she lose her life, she lost what she was fighting for most, and that was an opportunity to survive this kidney transplant… She never made it. She didn’t make it to her anniversary. My sister died because this President lied. He lied to her. He lied to us. He lied to this country. In addition to that, not only do we feel like we were robbed of my sister, but we never saw her again. We never had an opportunity to have a funeral for her, because my sister was put in a disaster bag and put into a casket, of which we could never even take her back into her church home, and give her a burial that is consistent with our traditions… People couldn’t even come, people were afraid to come because this president lied —lied and misled.”

[…] “My sister died, because this man told a lie. And he continues to tell lies — continues to mislead people into a line of fire, saying it’s firecrackers, when we know that there are real bullets out there that have taken the lives of innocent citizens. Not only taking the lives of innocent citizens, but leaving the lives that are left behind forever changed. Full of pain, full of grief, full of instability…”

“…So when you take a look at Joe Biden. I am glad that he has 47 years of experience. I am glad that he’s been there for as long as he has. I am glad that he’s been a man on the forefront of rebuilding America. I am glad about that. I am glad that he has a plethora of relationships to pull from, that he doesn’t have to say ‘oh you can trust me,’ because he has a track record of being trusted, not just by the Democrats, but by the Republicans as well.”

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

“My personal experience started back in March, when this virus first came to light. My aunt in Texas spent more than four and a half months between the ICU on a ventilator and a rehab center, having to learn how to eat, how to talk, and how to walk again. She’s at home, she’s still struggling, she will probably use a walker for the rest of her life.

“That followed up in June and July with very irresponsible messages coming out of our Governor’s office and the Trump administration that this virus didn’t impact children. It didn’t impact young adults, we shouldn’t worry about school-aged children, we shouldn’t worry about college kids. Well, in July, my cousin’s 10-year old daughter in Tallahassee was airlifted from Tallahassee Memorial to Shands. They later discovered what was happening is that she indeed had COVID. Her system shut down, she had a fever for 21 days, they didn’t really know how to treat it. Her organs were failing, they were inflamed, for ten days she could not speak….perfectly healthy 10-year old girl with no underlying health conditions.

“Then it hit even closer to home. My 19-year old daughter is a college student at University of Central Florida, just a few weeks ago she came down with COVID. She seemed to be ok, lost her sense of taste, her smell, felt a little sluggish. Then, she woke up to excruciating leg pains, where they rushed her to the emergency room thinking that she had blood clots. Thank God she did not, it was nerve inflammation and her legs continue to hurt but she is on the mend and she recently tested negative.”

“…President Trump could have come out and said ‘this virus is dangerous, don’t take your chances, it might not impact you, but it could impact someone you love’…. Joe Biden, time and time again, says he’s fighting for the soul of the nation. It’s not just the soul of the nation he’s fighting for, it’s the lives of the people who live in this nation.” 

Dr. Lisa Conti, veterinarian with a pre-existing condition 

“When you have toxic leadership, like we have these last four years, that interfere with the science of how to best control diseases, it’s just unfathomable. Of course, we’ve all heard of the unprecedented editorial the New England Journal of Medicine group put out, essentially a call to fire this administration because they have taken a bad situation and made it even worse — by ignoring the science, by taking this cavalier attitude, and by putting people’s health at risk. It’s just unfathomable that they would do that. 

“…On the other hand, we have someone who has experience dealing with very difficult problems. For eight years, Vice President Biden tackled economic and other social issues that we needed to address… I am in a high risk group and I was in the hospital a few months ago and he learned about this, I’m not sure how that happened, but he called me. I was actually talking to my doctor, so I did not take the call. And when I listened to my voicemail and I heard it was Vice President Joe Biden calling me in the hospital, it was astounding. But not only that, he called me back so he could talk to me and he let me know he went through some rough times as well with his family, and that he was there with me in spirit and my family in spirit, and it was really amazing that with everything else that he is doing, he took the time to call me for almost 20 minutes to talk about science and medicine, and how we can do a lot better. 

“We need to fire this current administration and we need Joe Biden and his team to take over and provide the appropriate leadership in order to heal this country.” 

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