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FDP Statement on the Alarming Increase in COVID Cases

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July 23, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maurizio Passariello
‭+1 (786) 285-6398

Statement from Florida Democratic Party Spokesperson Jose Dante Parra on the Alarming Increase of New COVID-19 Cases in the State

Miami, FL – Florida’s rate of new COVID-19 infections has climbed sharply over the past two weeks. Its seven day average of cases is now the highest in the nation. Hospitals across the state are adjusting their visitation protocols and rescheduling elective surgeries due to the dangerous and accelerating influx of cases.
 
In reaction to these developments Florida Democratic Party Senior Communications Advisor Jose Dante Parra issued the following statement:
 
“Yesterday Florida reported 12,647 new COVID-19 cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 23% of all nationwide cases for the day. This is the highest daily figure since January of this year, the month that saw the highest number of infections in Florida since the pandemic began. Vaccination rates have us around the middle of the pack among states and hospitals are straining to keep up with the surge of coronavirus patients.
 
“The question is, what is Governor DeSantis doing about it? He’s playing politics, of course. When he’s not playing jetsetter, traveling around the country hobnobbing with wealthy donors, he’s cravenly plotting his every move as he pursues his run for president. Last weekend, while cases spiked, he traveled to Texas to visit the border in an attempt to burnish his credentials for a possible 2024 run.
 
“He continues to fight in court to prevent cruise ships from having to abide by CDC regulations that would help keep their passengers safe. Just yesterday he adamantly rejected the possibility of requiring masks at schools in the Fall. Nobody wants mask mandates, but should we be taking anything off the table at a time when Florida is leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases? DeSantis is putting politics over people’s health, and it’s the height of irresponsibility.”

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman

Florida Democratic Party Weekly Talking Points

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Florida Democratic Party Weekly Talking Points

MESSAGES OF THE WEEK: 7.6.21

1. President Biden’s Economic Plan is Working
2. Why Did Congressional Republicans Vote Against Funding The Police?
3. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement
4. Surfside
5. Biden-Harris Administration Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety
6. The American Families Plan Invests in Our Kids, Families, and Economic Future

1. President Biden’s Economic Plan is Working
Last week’s jobs report shows that job growth is accelerating and President Biden’s economic plan is working. The economy added 850,000 jobs in June, exceeding expectations.

This jobs report comes after CBO projected we will have strong growth, unemployment will continue to decrease, and inflation is transitory.

In February, CBO projected 2021 economic growth of 3.7%. This month, they doubled that number to 7.4%, the fastest rate in nearly three decades.

CBO cites three factors for the upward revision—fiscal policy like the American Rescue Plan boosting growth, more rapid reductions in social distancing than expected as a result of our progress in defeating the virus, and savings households accumulated during the pandemic flowing through to the economy. President Biden’s economic and COVID plans are generating strong economic growth.

In February and before passage of the American Rescue Plan, CBO projected a 2022-2031 deficit of 4.4% of GDP. This month, they revised down the deficit as a share of GDP. President Biden’s investments in our economy through the ARP aren’t only growing the economy, they are also reducing budget deficits as a share of the economy.

And, let’s be clear: the Trump administration enacted $8 trillion of deficit increases. His and congressional Republicans’ tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations alone added almost $2 trillion to the deficit.

But we have to keep working to help as many people as possible get vaccinated to ensure these numbers continue to trend in the right direction.

    • In June, unvaccinated people represented 99.2% of COVID-19 deaths in America.
    • The evidence is clear, vaccines work. Now we just need to make sure that people get them.

2. Why Did Congressional Republicans Vote Against Funding The Police?
Thanks to President Biden and Democrats’ leadership passing the American Rescue Plan, police departments across the county now have access to $350 billion in funding.

Every single Republican in Congress voted against this critical funding for police. It’s clear why one of the nation’s most prominent police unions, which endorsed President Trump, rated many Democrats higher than their Republican counterparts.

Despite congressional Republicans’ desperate attempts to distract and muddy the waters, the one question they should all answer is why did they vote against funding our police?

3. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement
President Biden came into office promising to find common ground to get things done – and he’s delivering on that promise.

This historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will make life better for millions of Americans, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to win the 21st century, including on many of the key technologies needed to combat the climate crisis.

In Florida, we have a C rating on our infrastructure. That is unacceptable. We need this plan to bring our state into the 21st century.

    • In Florida alone, there are 408 bridges and over 3,564 miles of highway in poor condition.

Since 2011, commute times have increased by 11.6% in Florida, and on average, each driver pays $425 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.

We are at an inflection point between democracy and autocracy, and that we must demonstrate to the world that American democracy can deliver for the American people. This deal shows that democracy can deliver results

The framework will position American workers, farmers, and businesses – small and large alike – to compete and win in the 21st century.

It’s the largest investment in our infrastructure in a century – the largest investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak, largest investment in public transit in American history, largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history, largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. It will deliver high-speed internet to every American home.

Our state will face some of the worst effects of the climate crisis in the whole country. This plan will invest in building climate resilience and protecting our communities from disaster.

And, we’re going to do it all without raising a cent from earners below $400,000 – no gas tax increase, and no fee on electric vehicles.

The president remains committed to his full legislative agenda – including the care economy and expanding child care, and additional investments in clean energy – and will work with Members of Congress on drafting and passing a budget resolution that enacts his legislative priorities.

4. Surfside
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of the Surfside community.

We are so grateful for the tireless efforts of the first responders in their search and rescue mission.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has continued to lead in the face of this awful tragedy. Not just by supporting the families and Surfside community, but also by focusing on how to prevent a disaster like this from ever happening again.

Additionally, we have seen strong leadership from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the state legislators who represent Surfside. In many ways, this has been a team effort

5. Biden-Harris Administration Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety
The surge in gun violence and violent crime that has affected communities across the country over the last year and a half is unacceptable, and his administration is moving decisively to act with a whole-of-government approach as we enter the summer months when cities typically experience a spike in violence.

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a comprehensive strategy to combat violent crime and gun violence that targets the crime itself, implements preventative measures that are proven to reduce violent crime, and attacks root causes – including by addressing the flow of firearms used to commit crimes.

Now is the time to act. With the secondary consequences of the pandemic and the proliferation of illegal guns over the same period, we have seen increased violence over the past year and a half. That includes a 30% increase in homicides and an 8% increase in gun assaults in large cities in 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, homicides are 24% higher than the first quarter of 2020.

While the president continues to call on Congress to act to end this gun violence epidemic, he knows we cannot afford to wait a single day while lives are being taken. That is why the actions announced today are just the latest in a number of steps the president and his administration have taken to deal with the epidemic of gun violence.

The administration’s comprehensive strategy will:

    • Stem the flow of firearms used to commit violence, including by holding rogue firearms dealers accountable for violating federal laws: The Justice Department is announcing a new policy to underscore zero tolerance for willful violations of the law by federally licensed firearms dealers.
    • Support local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to help address summer violent crime: The Department of Justice is taking a number of steps, including launching new multijurisdictional firearms trafficking strikes forces, to better coordinate crime reduction efforts with local law enforcement. Additionally, the Treasury Department is clarifying that communities experiencing a surge in gun violence as a result of the pandemic may use American Rescue Plan state and local aid to boost public safety efforts, including through hiring new police officers.
    • Invest in evidence-based community violence interventions: Today, the President has announced a new Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Collaborative of 15 jurisdictions. The Administration will convene this group to share best practices, provide technical assistance, and pilot new and proven strategies to reduce gun violence.
    • Expand summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults: The Department of the Treasury, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor have all taken steps to encourage local communities to invest in public safety and violence reduction strategies, including youth workforce programs.
    • Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities: The Department of Labor is investing $85.5 million to help formerly incarcerated individuals in 28 communities transition out of the criminal justice system and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is taking a number of steps to promote hiring of formerly incarcerated individuals.

6. The American Families Plan Invests in Our Kids, Families, and Economic Future
President Biden unveiled the American Families Plan to invest in our kids, our families, and our economic future – because when American families do well, our nation thrives.

Right now, too many Americans are struggling to meet basic needs and cover basic expenses. An economy that fails so many of us is not only unfair, it’s unsustainable.

The American Families Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in the foundations of middle-class prosperity: education, health care, and child care. And it is supported by a majority of Americans.

The American Families Plan will make education more affordable and expand opportunity through transformational investments. It will:

    • Provide universal access to high-quality, free Pre-K for 3- and 4- year-olds.
    • Make two years of community college free for all Americans.
    • Lower college cost for low- and middle-income students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MCIs).
    • Increase the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400 and allow DREAMers to access the funding. Invest $9 billion to strengthen teacher pipelines and address shortages, increasing the number of teachers of color and supporting the growth of all teachers.

The American Families Plan will provide economic security to families – ensuring everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the economy and care for themselves and their families. It will:

    • Ensure no one earning under 150% of state median income has to pay more than 7% of their income on high-quality care for children under 5.
    • Provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave, allowing workers to take the time they need to care for themselves or loved ones.
    • Expand nutrition assistance, school meal programs, and summer meal programs for children and families.
      Invest $1 billion in maternal health.

The American Families Plan will expand tax credits that help workers and families – a powerful tool that can help build economic prosperity. It will:

    • Make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit permanent, providing up to $4,000 to cover expenses related to care for a child under age 13.
    • Make the Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion for Childless Workers permanent, benefitting 17 million low-wage workers, many of whom are essential and child care workers.
    • Extend the Child Tax Credit increases in the American Rescue Plan for another five years – increasing tax credits for children under 6 from $2,000 to $3,600 and for children over 6 from $2,000 to $3,000.
    • Lower health care costs by making the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions permanent, saving families an average of $50 per person per month.

The American Families Plan is an ambitious, once-in-a-generation investment to rebuild the middle class and invest in America’s future.

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman

Mike & Kari would like to thank you for your votes and hope to assure all, whether or not you voted for us, that we will make every effort to be transparent and accessible to the Democrats of Lee County. The mission of the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Lee County is to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Although they may not always agree, Kari & Mike both pledge that all decisions will be made with that mission as the determining factor and welcome your input.

 Kari Lerner: karillerner@gmail.com

 Mike Bonacolta: mikebonacolta@gmail.com

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