Editor’s note: Not even ten minutes after we published this column, senior sources said Helen
Helen, you’re not going to want to hear this, but it’s time for you to go.
It’s no secret that when things aren’t falling into place, someone has to be held accountable and it’s never going to be the guy or the gal at the top.
We saw that with Brad Parscale’s fall from grace and his ultimate demotion within the Trump campaign.
Our Governor, Helen, is in turmoil.
We said it two months ago, DeSantis is winning the pandemic battle, but losing the perception war.
The former is probably, and sadly, not really true any more, but the latter has never been more true.
It’s not your fault, of course. It’s clear the Governor keeps his own counsel.
But it’s your job to manage the message and the message is failing in spectacular fashion.
Your war with the press is well-documented, but it’s not doing you any favors.
Remember in May when you shamed the Orlando Sentinel for its “alarmist headline” about a model predicting 3,971 COVID-19 deaths by Aug. 4? POLITICO reporter Marc Caputo does, and he wasn’t quiet about reminding you.
It’s July 15
FL: death toll is 4,521 —12.16% more than modeled
Not so “alarmist” pic.twitter.com/rtDTbKZ5yg
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) July 16, 2020
That model predicted nearly 4,000 deaths by Aug. 4. It’s mid-July and the death toll is already higher.
As Caputo put it, “not so alarmist” now, is it?
I get it, you didn’t have a crystal ball and couldn’t have seen this massive spike coming, but here it is and the administration is still projecting sunshine and rainbows as if more than 100 people aren’t dying per day in recent days.
Had you been a bit less prickly, perhaps your words might have aged better.
So again, it’s time Helen.
Time for you to get out of the way and stop OK-ing crap messaging like this atrocious campaign-style video glorifying the Governor’s response to the virus instead of producing a video that might actually do something to solve it. Something that might, you know, encourage people to wear masks, instead of showing footage of someone pandering while wearing a mask all wrong (it’s supposed to cover the nose too, Mayor Gilbert.)
Getting through this pandemic requires unity of purpose. I appreciate the hard work of Miami-Dade’s mayors and I’m 100% confident we are going to get through this. pic.twitter.com/aZrWlgReIv
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 16, 2020
Time for you to stop tweeting things like “deaths also decreased to 93” as if that’s a point of pride, or that “Florida has tested more than 2.4 million people.” Come on, Helen. You know that number is total tests, not those who have received them. So no, not “one out o 9” individuals.
The positive rate for COVID in Florida was down from the last few days despite a whopping 95,300 test results reported as of midnight July 9. 12.75% tested positive and the average age of these is 40 years. Deaths also decreased to 93.
— Helen Aguirre Ferré (@helenaguirrefer) July 10, 2020
Florida has tested more than 2.4 million people for COVID-19 which is one out of 9 individual.
— Helen Aguirre Ferré (@helenaguirrefer) July 12, 2020
Maybe instead of constantly downplaying a terrifying pandemic that is ransacking the state, you could have adjusted your messaging to reflect action, not toddler-style excuses about how it’s just the big, bad media causing a panic.
You know what’s causing a panic? It’s people dying. It’s people clogging hospital wards. It’s the positivity rate that, despite your attempts to say otherwise, are still dangerously high.
I’m sorry, Helen, it’s time.