Hastings, Frankel Lead Florida Democrats in Urging Governor DeSantis to Immediately Reestablish Communications with the Congressional Delegation

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Fort Lauderdale, FL, June 18, 2020 | comments

(Fort Lauderdale, FL) Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Lois Frankel (D-FL) led Florida Democratic Members of Congress on a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis calling on him to reestablish open lines of communication as Florida reopens amid a pandemic and hurricane season. The letter urges a coordinated, state-wide effort for re-opening and widespread testing that will keep Floridians healthy and safe during a time of immense uncertainty. Joining Hastings and Frankel in signing the letter are Representatives (11): Ted Deutch (D-FL), Donna Shalala (D-FL), Val Demings (D-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL, Kathy Castor (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and Al Lawson (D-FL). (Please find the letter below and attached):

June 18, 2020

The Honorable Ron DeSantis
Executive Office of the Governor
State of Florida
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Via electronic correspondence.

Dear Governor DeSantis:

We write to express our deep concern about the lack of responsiveness from your office to our correspondence regarding the development of a statewide testing strategy as you move to re-open Florida, especially as we are now officially in hurricane season. Florida continues to suffer from, and address, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that has ensued, but any meaningful response will only succeed if we are all part of the effort, working together with open lines of communication.

While regular communication existed between Members and Florida’s executive offices and agencies earlier in the pandemic, this is no longer the case. At a time when the confluence of  hurricane season and the state’s re-opening amid a pandemic could cause compounding disasters, we are unable to coordinate with you and other agencies to establish critical strategies, such as widespread testing, to track and prevent further spread of  COVID-19. We believe the lines of communication must be reestablished and maintained at all levels of government in order to ensure that Floridians’ concerns can be voiced and addressed by the most appropriate office in a timely manner.

We respectfully request prompt responses to our prior inquiries and that our offices resume regular conference calls, so that we can continue our discussion of policies that will help protect all Floridians. In a time of crisis, government unity and open communication are critical to serving the residents of Florida efficiently and effectively.  We believe it is imperative that we have contact with you and your agency directors.

Thank you for your consideration of these requests, we hope to continue to work with your office to ensure Floridians’ safety in the uncertain times ahead.

Sincerely,

Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Lois Frankel
Member of Congress

Ted Deutch
Member of Congress

Donna E. Shalala
Member of Congress

Val B. Demings
Member of Congress

Charlie Crist
Member of Congress

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Member of Congress

Stephanie Murphy
Member of Congress

Kathy Castor
Member of Congress

Darren Soto
Member of Congress

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress

Frederica S. Wilson
Member of Congress

Al Lawson
Member of Congress

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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