CFO Jimmy Patronis lays blame on China, demands financial restitution

Patronis is looking to settle the score.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced Monday he is seeking financial restitution from China for the costs incurred by Florida as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to a Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Patronis warned that his office will identify Chinese owned or controlled businesses that are pending payment from the state and may withhold the payment to offset the incurred costs.

Patronis, a Republican, told former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Newsmax Monday that his office has also discovered several “wholly” owned Chinese companies with unclaimed property in Florida. In total, Florida holds roughly $2 billion worth of unclaimed assets.

“They should own the debt and the problems they have caused to our country, especially the State of Florida,” Patronis said during the interview.

After the interview, Patronis took to Twitter and doubled-down.

The letter, sent Monday, adds that Patronis will work alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody to probe the possibility of filing a civil action in federal court.

Also included were several “factual” grievances suffered by Floridians against the Communist Party of China. The grievances include withholding personal protection equipment, silencing whistleblowers, and denying the virus could be transmitted between humans while failing to contain the outbreak.

“The CPC’s incompetent and fraudulent actions in response to the early outbreak of COVID-19 are a direct and proximate cause to untold human suffering and economic harm to the State of Florida,” Patronis wrote.

The move eclipses Moody’s Monday morning announcement that called on Congress to investigate the Chinese government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need answers and we need them soon,” said Moody, a Republican. “Americans are dying and millions are losing their jobs. We demand to know whether China lied to the world as the coronavirus rapidly traveled from Wuhan to our shores — infecting and killing thousands along the way.”

With the letter, Moody joined 17 other state attorneys general, all probing the possibility that China misled the international community about the severity of the disease.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.



    May 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Forget China! This “Chief Financial Officer” jerk should be singularly concerned with making his own “financial restitution” to all Floridians who have been totally screwed out of BOTH state-based benefits AND federal-based benefits due to them by DeSantis’ and Patronis’ goddamned Florida Unemployment Compensation program!

    If there are any Florida Republicans with brains – on November 3rd – they should either 1.) Vote for Biden, or, 2.) STAY HOME!

    Republicans have seemingly become criminally incompetent throughout this entire nation!

  • Ocean Joe

    May 12, 2020 at 9:34 am

    “China if you’re listening…” China is Trump’s pal, his foil for now, but his longtime source of steel for his buildings, patents for his daughter, cloth for his too-long neck ties. Let’s get busy, testing, opening the country, guarding against future outbreaks. Ashley and Patronis and DeSantis have all ordered the pu pu platter on this one.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 12, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Is this a joke? Quit wasting our tax dollars and pay the damn unemployment!!!!! The trace to Florida is from
    The European covid 19 stupid!!!

  • Palmer Tom

    May 12, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Another Trump trained parrot in the Florida Cabinet.

Comments are closed.


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