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Florida’s Democrats in Congress renew call for statewide lockdown

“The coronavirus is going to hit every nook and cranny,”” Rep. Lois Frankel warned.

Florida’s 13 Democratic members of Congress on Tuesday renewed their call to Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, and this time the Democrats quoted President Donald Trump‘s omnipresent public health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced Tuesday they are trying again to convince DeSantis to place the entire state under a stay-at-home order. They have sent him a follow-up to the delegation’s March 25 letter.

The first letter was signed by only 10 of Florida’s 13 U.S. House Democrats. The latest has Reps. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, Kathy Castor of Tampa, and Al Lawson of Tallahassee joining the others, Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Miami, Alcee Hastings of Palm Beach Gardens, Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, Donna Shalala of Miami, Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Darren Soto of Kissimmee, and Val Demings of Orlando.

“Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided a stark warning Friday on the need for Americans to continue social distancing measures: ‘When you think you’re maybe overreacting, you probably are not acting as forcefully as you should,'” the Democrats wrote, quoting Fauci to DeSantis.

“We cannot wait, and we cannot leave this decision to county and municipal governments. We urge you to immediately issue a statewide stay-at-home order to save lives,” the Democrats stated.

On the date of the first letter, March 25, Florida had recorded 1,682 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there had been 22 reported deaths in Florida attributed to the disease.

On Tuesday, six days later, the tolls have climbed to 6,096 cases, and 71 deaths in Florida.

 The map of coronavirus infections now shows that Florida has 18 counties with at least 50 cases, stretching from Escambia in the far northwest to Duval in the northeast, to Miami-Dade in the southeast, to Collier in the southwest. There now are 10 Florida counties with at least 100 confirmed cases, topped by Miami-Dade’s 1,926 cases.

“The coronavirus is going to hit every nook and cranny of America,” Frankel stated in a news release about the new letter to DeSantis. “All you need is one funeral or large family dinner and a small community can be infected in a few days. With no vaccine or cure there is no time to waste, a statewide stay-at-home order is necessary to save lives and keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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