Donna Shalala says she ‘won’t rest’ during COVID-19 response efforts in new congressional ad

Donna Shalala
Shalala is a former Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala is touting her work advocating for COVID-19 relief measures in a new campaign ad released Tuesday.

Florida’s 27th Congressional District, which Shalala represents, is in the eastern part of Miami-Dade County. It spans Coral Gables, South Miami and Miami Beach. Miami-Dade County has served as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Florida, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all confirmed cases in the state.

“My focus is on keeping our community safe and getting our economy back on track,” Shalala begins in the new 30-second ad.

“I helped pass relief bills that expanded unemployment and guaranteed financial assistance to small businesses here in Miami-Dade. Our office worked hard to help constituents navigate the broken state unemployment process. I won’t rest until our community is safe and our economy is back on track.”

The spot will run on both English and Spanish TV stations. Shalala is defending her seat against Republican candidate Maria Elvira Salazar.

This is the second Shalala ad this month to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. In early September, she unveiled a 60-second spot hitting President Donald Trump’s response to the outbreak. Now, she’s attempting to play up her own.

Democrats have pushed for additional relief measures following the $2 trillion-plus approved in late March as part of the CARES Act. So far, Republicans have largely advocated for reopening the economy as a means to get money into people’s pockets. The GOP has also pushed for future relief money to be focused more on small business relief, rather than giving people cash or additional unemployment benefits directly.

Shalala served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Bill Clinton administration. Dr. Anthony Fauci worked under Shalala during that time.

Shalala is clearly attempting to play up that experience as she faces a rematch against Salazar, a former broadcaster on Spanish-language TV. Shalala defeated Salazar by 6 percentage points in 2018, allowing her to secure the open seat.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]



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