JACKSONVILLE, FL — Today, as the US hits a new high of 36,000 coronavirus cases, and the President cuts Federal funding for COVID 19 testing, the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee once again calls on Mayor Curry to ensure that attendees to the Republican National Convention in August wear face masks as recommended by the CDC, and Florida State Surgeon General.
On June 20, Florida State Surgeon General Rivkees recommended that people maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other and wear a face covering.” Far from being “group think,” scientific evidence supports the use of face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Antony Fauci reiterated this advice in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 23.
Duval County does not currently require anyone to wear a mask. Other major metropolitan counties in Florida, Orange, Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade do. The RNC moved the convention from North Carolina to Jacksonville precisely because of the lack of a mask requirement.
Citizens of Jacksonville, are very concerned about rising cases of COVID-19. A majority of Duval County residents polled by the University of North Florida oppose the RNC Convention coming to Duval County, largely due to concerns about COVID-19.
The rising spread of COVID-19 is bad for the health of our citizens and bad for our economy. Businesses cannot stay open and people cannot go to work when COVID-19 is spreading unchecked.
Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee announced a scaled-back convention amid the coronavirus pandemic. State delegations are being asked not to attend in person and several portions of the convention will be virtual.
We call on the Mayor to immediately enact an executive order requiring masks to be worn by anyone in public. Additionally, the mandatory enactment of other forms of social distancing at all businesses, events, and public events, including the RNC Convention in August.
Tarsha Watts, a registered Democrat in Jacksonville is like many families on the First Coast. She is trying to keep her family safe while wondering when will life get back to normal after COVID-19.
“I believe that had we been more vigilant and worked to keep others safe, my brother and others like him would still be alive today”, said Watts.
Her brother, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus died in April.
“I can’t believe that we have to beg our leaders to do the right thing so that we can all stay safe”.
This week in a news conference, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, declined to issue a mandate for the public to wear masks.
“I do not think that’s a prudent action to take”, said the Mayor.
“This is absolutely absurd”, said Duval County Democratic Executive Committee (DCDEC) Chair Daniel Henry.
“This is about responsible public health. It’s not about politics. This is about science. Our government has a duty to help even those that don’t know they need help”.
Henry, and the DCDEC have sent a letter to the Mayor urging him to rethink his decision not to mandate mask wearing in public places.
“We have started, calling, emailing, and using any other methods we can to urge the mayor to do his job to keep this city safe.
Currently, Florida has one of the highest COVID-19 cases in the country with 123,000 confirmed cases.
The Democratic Executive Committee is the governing body of the Democratic Party in Duval County. The committee works daily to build a strong and sustainable Democratic Party in Jacksonville. With more than 265,000 registered Democrats in the county, the DEC is responsible for handling local Florida Democratic Party affairs.