Debbie Mucarsel-Powell calls-out Florida leaders as COVID cases rise
The Latina Congresswoman, who is not afraid to be vocal on COVID-19 issues will likely be facing a Republican challenger in November.
Last Sunday, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the first South American immigrant to become a U.S. congresswoman, spoke with Jorge Ramos about the situation of the coronavirus in Florida.
She criticized Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for repeating the Trump administration's message that the increase in cases is due only to increased testing.
Mucarsel-Powell told Ramos that Florida should start tracking contacts, increase quarantine measures, demand masks and increase testing as much as possible.
"What did we do wrong in Florida?" Ramos asked.
She responded that it boils down to a lack of leadership, shown in cases such as Arizona, Texas and Florida, where leaders decided to open up the states too soon.
"The way this was executed in Florida obviously wasn't the right way, and now we're seeing the effects of that," she told Ramos in the interview.
The Univision TV ad is not the first time Mucarsel-Powell has spoken out about his state's lack of leadership during the global coronavirus pandemic.
"This has gotten out of control. The lack of leadership has devastated our community and my heart is broken for what we are enduring. We need contact tracers, more testing, more education, and the hard decisions need to be made faster. We need to act now," she wrote on Twitter.
This has spun out of control.
A failure of leadership has ravaged our community and my heart is broken over what we are enduring.
We need contact tracers, more testing, more education, and tough decisions need to be made faster.
We need action now. https://t.co/XUsjSy42sZ
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) July 1, 2020
“Just 20 days ago, Mayor Gimenez foolishly said he’d reopen Miami-Dade’s beaches. In the last 3 days, Florida has reported 27,057 new coronavirus cases. Now, the beaches are closing again,” Mucarsel-Powell tweeted on June 28.
She went on to say the Mayor and Governor DeSantis insisted on a false and reckless choice between restarting the economy and safety. Now, she says businesses and families will suffer longer and such high tolls were preventable.
“Complete and total failure in leadership, as Miami-Dade opens without systems in place to curb the spread,” Murcasel-Powell tweeted days later.
10,109 new coronavirus cases.
Another record day in FL.
Complete and total failure in leadership, as Miami-Dade opens without systems in place to curb the spread.@MayorGimenez, where are the contact tracers? https://t.co/F98TCor9DY
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) July 2, 2020
“My reelection is going to be one of the toughest reelections in the country,” Mucarsel-Powell said during a virtual campaign event.
Mayor Giménez is challenging her congressional seat. A member of the Republican party, he is a prominent figure in Miami and Dade County.
President Donald Trump lost Mucarsel-Powell’s district by 16 points in 2016, but data shows voters in her district tend to lean Republican in races lower on the ballot.
Like Governor DeSantis, Mayor Giménez has also come under nationwide scrutiny for his lack of coronavirus response. Mucarsel-Powell blasted his “absolute failure to keep Miami-Dade residents safe from coronavirus” during a press conference last Wednesday.
In any case, Mucarsel-Powell is facing a challenge from a popular Latino figure in her community.
The way politicians respond to the pandemic crisis now will be a determining factor in the winners this Fall, but as we’ve seen with the politicization of things like face masks, it could go either way.