DeSantis blames COVID spike on 'overwhelmingly Hispanic' laborers

DeSantis blames COVID spike on ‘overwhelmingly Hispanic’ laborers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to clusters of “overwhelmingly Hispanic” working day laborers and agriculture employees for driving the state’s current coronavirus spike — but farmworkers and sector associations argue that means and screening arrived too late to those people communities, in accordance to new reports.

The Republican governor instructed reporters Tuesday that cramped dwelling and functioning ailments for migrant staff and Hispanic construction workers are partly to blame, according to WFOR-Tv.

“Some of these guys go to perform in a college bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, heading across Palm Beach front County or some of these other areas, and there is all these chances to have transmission,” DeSantis stated all through a push convention in Tallahassee.

He pointed to instances in migrant camps, a watermelon farm and Immokalee, a main hub for tomato manufacturing, as evidence of the uptick.

But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried argued that the majority of farmworkers still left a number of months back just after harvests ended and that the actual uptick is in non-agricultural areas, in accordance to The Miami Herald.

In addition, Antonio Tovar, executive director of the Farmworker Association of Florida, claimed it is not the farmworkers’ fault they are vulnerable to COVID-19.

He pointed the finger at DeSantis for ignoring pleas from a coalition of 50 groups that requested him for assist in late April.

“We sent this letter to the governor a lot more than two months in the past and now he is knowing that international staff are a lot more ideal to get contaminated,” Tovar advised The News Company of Florida Wednesday. “That is really shameful for the reason that he was advised, he was advised when we sent the letter.”

Tovar claimed that the means only came in Might, following numerous in the Southwest Florida farming group experienced already grow to be sick.

“It is also small too late,” he said. “It was about two weeks in the past when the division (DOH) sent an e mail to a ton of corporations expressing, ‘Hey! We obtained 2 million confront masks. If you want we can give you facial area masks.’”

But DeSantis’ spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferre argued the governor lengthy in the past positioned a focus on the agriculture local community as a substantial-danger spot.

“For months, Governor DeSantis has been talking about the worth of proactively screening in areas of large risk, these kinds of as agriculture locations where migrant/farm staff are likely to are living and journey in confined areas that are conducive to the distribute of this disorder,” she stated in a Wednesday e-mail to WFOR-Television.

A migrant worker picks oranges at a grove in in Bradenton, Florida.

Phillippe Diederich/Getty Illustrations or photos

Virus Outbreak-Farmworkers Town

A guy cycles previous a hand washing station established up exterior of a well-liked grocery store in Immokalee, Florida.

AP/Lynne Sladky

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Florida on Thursday described the premier one-working day spike in coronavirus cases due to the fact the pandemic started off.

The variety of new infections in the Sunshine Condition soared to 3,207 — dwarfing its possess previous greatest solitary-day maximize of 2,783 on Tuesday.

The record-superior disease fee arrives as some pieces of the condition report zero readily available ICU beds, and as experts predict Florida has “all the markings” to turn out to be the new epicenter for the pandemic.