During a news conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had made a remark on Hispanic workers in the state as being a contributing factor to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. The remark has been countered by farmworkers and industrial bodies arguing that testing arrived too late for the community.
The Governor's remark has generated controversy, as farmworkers and other associations are criticising the comment. Moreover, he is gaining much criticism for disregarding calls of help at the time.
Florida Governor DeSantis makes a controversial remark on Hispanic workers
Republic Governor Ron DeSantis sparked controversy with his remark on Hispanic workers contributing to the spike in COVID-19 cases. He spoke about the 'overwhelmingly Hispanic' day labourers and agriculture workers' living conditions and cramped lifestyle as being the cause of the rise in cases in Florida.
Fears have raised that Florida might be a new epicentre for the virus in the USA, this has generated anxiety among the population. In a week alone, there has been a remarkable rise in cases. Last Friday, the state saw the highest rise in cases since the pandemic began 3,822 new cases and the average age of confirmed cases was just 37.
Despite the rise, the state will move forward with its plans to reopen. Discussing the crisis and the way forward Governor DeSantis then went on to criticise the Hispanic farmworkers for being one of the causes of the rise in cases. In a press conference at Tallahassee, the Republican said, "Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there are all these opportunities to have transmission."
Contradicting this claim, Antoni Tovar the director of the Farmworkers Association of Florida had told the media that, "We sent this letter to the governor more than two months ago and now he is realising that foreign workers are more suitable to get infected." They say the government was late to act on the matter. Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried told the Miami Herald that farmworkers had 'left several weeks ago' after the harvest season.
The spike in cases DeSantis said shouldn't alarm residents last week saying that a new case is a positive test but it doesn't mean somebody is sick on Friday. The government doesn't seem to be considering slowing down reopening at this point.