Actions

South Florida Democrats defend Joe Biden's visits, blast President Donald Trump for holding large rally

'It's reckless and irresponsible,' state lawmaker says of Trump's planned rally in Sanford
Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 17:21:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be back in South Florida on Tuesday with two planned stops in Broward County.

Biden's visit to Miramar and Pembroke Pines comes as Florida Democrats defend the former vice president and fire back against President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic and decision to hold another large rally in central Florida.

"It's reckless and irresponsible," state Rep. Shevrin Jones, who represents part of Broward County, said.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay agreed.

"It's just the biggest example of irresponsible, narcissistic behavior I've ever seen in a leader," she said.

Melissa McKinlay on President Donald Trump holding rally in Sanford
"It's just the biggest example of irresponsible, narcissistic behavior I've ever seen in a leader," Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said.

Trump stepped back onto the campaign trail Monday with a scheduled stop in Sanford, one week after he was released from the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.

"He says don't let it dominate your life," Jones said. "I want him to tell that to the families of the more than 213,000 people who COVID has devastated them due to the loss of a loved one."

The Florida Democratic Party held a virtual news conference ahead of the president's visit and described how the pandemic has had a personal impact.

"My sister died because this president lied," Katrina Wilson, a councilwoman in Miami Gardens, said. "He lied to her. He lied to us. He lied to this country."

McKinlay shared that her aunt, her cousin's daughter and her own daughter were all hospitalized after testing positive.

"President Trump could have come out and said, 'This virus is dangerous ... Don't take your chances. It might not impact you, but it could impact somebody you love,'" McKinlay said. "We need a president who is not afraid to stand up and say, 'Hey, it's OK to wear a mask, it's the smart thing to do and, hey, let's not do these big rallies in Florida."

The South Florida leaders said Biden's visit to Miami last week for a town hall was held responsibly, and restrictions will be in place when he returns to Broward County.

"The team made it extremely clear that you have to stay in your car and they only have a certain amount of spaces for people who come," Jones said.

With nearly three weeks to go, Florida remains in focus to winning the election.