Gov. DeSantis, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez fumble on contact tracing
Ron DeSantis. Image via Colin Hackley.

Mayor Giminez remained silent.

The press swarmed Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday after both he and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez were caught pointing fingers at each other about who is responsible for the hiring of contact tracers in the area.

Despite sitting next to one another at a press conference, neither elected official clarified the responsibility with each other. Instead, Gimenez sat silently as DeSantis pointed back at him.

The fiasco arose when a reporter asked the Governor to explain why only the state can conduct contact tracing and not Miami-Dade County, an area heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He has hired contact-trace,” DeSantis rebutted.

DeSantis’s answer, however, was refuted by the reporter, who claimed the county released a statement claiming only the Florida Department of Health can contact trace and therefore, the county could not hire the roughly 1,000 contact tracers as previously announced.

“I’m not sure that’s correct,” DeSantis said. “We want the county health departments to be involved in this working with their local leadership. That’s how they’ve bee doing it the whole time.”

When asked by the press if the two can clarify the confusion with each other, neither did.

“Well no,” DeSantis said. “He announced that he was going to do it and so he gave us a heads up that they were going to be investing in some of it. We obviously have done it at the state level.”

The disagreement between Mayor and Governor comes as South Florida’s tri-county area added another 3,179 cases in Tuesday’s COVID-19 report.

In Miami-Dade, new cases have gone from 604 per day from June 16-22 to 1,416 per day from June 23-29  and all the way up to 2,034 new cases per day from June 30-July 6.

Over the same three one-week windows, the positivity rate has jumped from 12.3% to 15.8% to 19.9%.

In other words, nearly one in five tests have come back positive in the county over the past week.

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.


  • Sonja Fitch

    July 7, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Where is Cuomo? We’ve got the lousy Florida nazis of the goptrump cult!!!! Dud Desantis, Looting Lenny, and Cockroach Corcoran 🎶!!! Every day they make it worse and are criminally negligent! God have mercy on their souls!

  • S.B. Anthony

    July 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    This entire fiasco is an effing clown show under Republican “leadership.”
    The three stooges could have done a better job.

  • Andy madtes

    July 8, 2020 at 9:02 am

    This governor has put politics and ideology over science. Now Corcoran wants to jam our kids back into schools , just to make a political point. We need leaders who can navigate thru complex crises. The handling of this crisis has been an epic failure starting at the top of the federal government.
    I really don’t care about party affiliation, however it goes to show that in the future we as voters need to dig much deeper into a candidate’s ability to handle major situations, not just if they can cut ribbons , taxes and balance a budget. The world is changing and the challenges will require elected officials who have the strength and wisdom to meet them.

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