“No, mail ballots, they cheat,” said President Donald Trump during a Coronavirus briefing in The White House. “OK, people cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country because they are cheaters.”
Trump’s remarks were followed up in a tweet he sent out later in the night, prompting Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) to quickly to dismiss the president’s vote by mail concerns, and focusing on the lack of supplies for first responders and healthcare workers in Florida and around the country.
Rep. Mucarsel-Powell suggested to the president that he ensure these workers have sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) after it was widely reported that the U.S. was very, very low on these protective items and that the largest manufacturer of protective masks, 3M, had sold out to foreign countries.
.@POTUS pls stop worrying so much about #VoteByMail which is how you & many others in the @GOP have voted for years & start focusing on ensuring our health care workers have #PPE Also I remember u saying anyone who needed to be tested could be tested. We’re still waiting in #FL https://t.co/veu4515pAC
— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) April 9, 2020
Trump quickly fixed that problem, announcing this week that 3M committed to manufacturing tens of millions of masks to cover the shortage, and just today, announced that 450,000 protective suits were flown in from Vietnam.
This morning, 450,000 protective suits landed in Dallas, Texas. This was made possible because of the partnership of two great American companies—DuPont and FedEx—and our friends in Vietnam. Thank you! @DuPont_News @FedEx pic.twitter.com/8yhG6tYnQW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
Florida appears to also be all stocked up with PPE’s. Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters during a press conference in Miami Beach that his administration was able to obtain several million masks from the federal government for first responders and healthcare personnel.
Jared Moskowitz, the Florida Director of Emergency Services, confirmed that Florida was in fact stocked up with protected gear, and later retweeted his office’s tweet that the had acquired 218K face shields, 3.9 million gloves, and 157K protective gowns.
To respond to COVID-19, the Division has coordinated an unprecedented statewide response. This includes sending out critical PPE for our first responders & health care workers:
-2.8 million masks
-218k face shields
-3.9 million gloves
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) April 7, 2020
But even though the Trump administration has been able to fill many of the blanks as it pertains to protective gear, Mucarsel-Powell reminded the president that many Floridians were “still waiting” to get tested for the Coronavirus.
“I remember u saying anyone who needed to be tested could be tested. We’re still waiting in FL,” tweeted Mucarsel-Powell.
She makes a very good point.
Not everyone that needs to be tested has been tested because there are just not enough COVID-19 tests to go around. For Floridians to be tested for the virus, they must first go to one of several dozen state community health centers, private clinics, or go to their primary care physician to first be diagnosed.
According to the Florida Department of Health, a COVID-19 test can only be administered to individuals who have received a prescription from a physician.
As of 12 am on Thursday, there have been 15,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 323 deaths related to the virus.