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The Florida Senate

Minority Office — Press Release


September 24, 2020

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5833

Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson, Senator Lori Berman Respond to Governor’s Latest PR Roundtable

Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson: “The governor’s so-called “Discussion on Public Health” was a misnomer. It was an echo-chamber of the terrible policies he has chosen to follow as the coronavirus pandemic raged in Florida, and he placed his loyalties to Donald Trump over the health of the people of this state. No one is advocating for a full-scale lockdown in Florida. But we have been and continue to ask for common sense prevention measures such as face masks which are essential to preventing further spread. Without that, the virus remains a threat, the elderly will remain in isolation, and those who do contract the disease will live with the ongoing uncertainty of possible long-term health damages scientists are only now beginning to document. If this virus is akin to the flu, as the governor and his experts contend, and little threat to most people, let him be the first to throw open to the public his office and mansion  – both of which remain closed thanks to a pandemic he cannot control.”

Senator Lori Berman: “The governor’s round table today was little more than a collection of like-minded individuals echoing the governor’s push for herd immunity policies. There would be no need for lockdowns had he endorsed mandatory masks and widespread, more robust testing. Our positivity rate is still north of 11%, according to Johns Hopkins University, despite the decline in testing. Almost 14,000 deaths and almost 700,000 cases in Florida are testament to the failures of the governor in effectively combating this pandemic. So, too, are the current outbreaks and hotspots in schools and on college campuses, thanks to his push to quickly reopen these facilities. Whether it was the disease, or the economic disaster that followed, Governor DeSantis was out of his depths in leading this state, and none of his handpicked roundtables will be able to whitewash that terrible record.”