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Latinx leaders are not letting Gov. DeSantis’ irresponsibility go unnoticed

As coronavirus virus spreads out of control in Florida, lack decision-making is called-out.

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A new poll found that Florida Gov. Ron Desantis’ approval rating has taken a nosedive in recent weeks, as his state has become the national hotspot for COVID-19.

With more than 480,000 confirmed cases, Florida is responsible for over 10% of the nation’s coronavirus cases. Still not more than California, but Florida’s rapid increase of cases have all eyes on DeSantis, for all the wrong reasons.

His health department has ignored scientists, halting press-briefings in June with disease specialists, the Washington Post reported. DeSantis advisors even told health experts there was not sufficient personnel from the state to continue the briefings.

In response, Latinx leaders in the state are not letting up their criticism, as his dismal handling of Florida’s COVID-19 response finds Latinx individuals the hardest-hit demographic.

The mayor of Hialeah, Carlos Hernández (R-FL) has said DeSantis, “hasn’t done much” for his city, which has been disproportionately affected by the virus. 

Oz Vazquez, running for Congress in Florida’s 18th district, says: “We’ve been saying it for a while now. This is just irresponsible.” 

 

“For the record, Gov. Ron DeSantis is not doing an incredible, good, or even so-so job. The numbers and facts are clear,” wrote Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell on Twitter.

She has been actively vocal on the issue of DeSantis’ and Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s lack of real response to the pandemic, highlighting their messages that are rooted in false data and unsubstantiated claims.

Similar to the way Arizona’s coronavirus efforts — or lack thereof — led by Governor Doug Ducey exacerbated the COVID-19 crisis in the state after President Donald Trump’s visits to the state, DeSantis’ shortcomings are linked to his favor with the president. 

Anything for the sake of not falling from his graces. 

For instance, Trump asked DeSantis whether he would require masks for a convention in Jacksonville. Trump eventually called-off the event, but DeSantis said he would not require them, saying the virus would not be a problem in August.

“You were elected to be the governor of our state and make decisions about what is best for us in Florida,” Hernández said of DeSantis. 

But that is not where the governor’s best interests are.

Florida’s COVID-19 crisis reveals what happens when response is built on shifting ideas, influenced by a small group of DeSantis advisors who are privy to the Trump Administration’s opinion. 

With no comprehensive plan coupled with an ongoing trajectory to reopen, it’s easy to trace how the situation came to this.

 

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