With the governor’s apparent rejection of the pandemic and a refusal to take preventive action to prepare for the spring break crowds, officials responded with a force that was predictably aimed at the black spring break crowds. The Miami Herald described the police using a “SWAT truck, pepperballs and sonic cannons” when mostly black crowds filled the “world famous Ocean Drive”. “The truck showed up and no one knew why the truck was there,” Glendon Hall, chairman of the Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee, told the newspaper. “When we tried to calm things down, that hyped things up.”
Stephen Hunter Johnson, head of Miami-Dade’s Black Affairs Advisory Committee, told the Miami Herald that he was “very disappointed”. “I think if they are young blacks [on South Beach]The answer is, “Oh my god, we have to do something,” said Hunter Johnson. Miami Beach police chief Richard Clements admitted that officers “felt threatened at the time” and that the state’s barren regulations on COVID-19 were of no help. “This year it was a different environment. ” He told the Miami Herald and also cited the reaction after George Floyd’s death.
Social media users focused on how the governor’s reaction sparked the public health threat. Author Grant Stern tweeted, “The worst part about Ron #DeathSantis’ triumph is that he exports COVID-19 infections across the country, so those cases are not included in the Florida statistics he wants to celebrate, according to the New York City Times, Florida has already had more than two million COVID-19 cases and 32,712 deaths. Attorney Aaron Parnas tweeted, “Ron DeSantis is to blame for the madness in Miami Beach. We wouldn’t be here today without his dangerous rhetoric and incompetent leadership. It’s time to get rid of Ron. “
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a video that his city is one of the few open nationwide during this spring break. “We have an enormous number of people here, more than we can handle,” he said. “Too many really come with no intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is fair.” a little more than we can take. ”
Dan Gelber, Miami Beach Mayor: “We have an enormous number of people here, more than we can handle. Too many come really with no intention of following the rules and the result has been a certain amount of chaos and disorder.” pic.twitter.com/QQ86HIKOmU
– The Hill (@thehill) March 21, 2021
“We don’t target a group of people, we target behavior,” the mayor told WPLG Local 10. “If you can’t keep the streets safe, then don’t do your job.”
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NPR: “Every time there is an increase in travel, there is an increase in cases in this country. We are really trying to limit travel in this current period.” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told the nonprofit radio the country must be patient. “We’ve been running a marathon since this all started a year ago. And when you’re running a marathon, you don’t want to stop at the 24th mile,” said Collins.
“Everyone is incredibly frustrated and tired of all of this. We just have to stay here for a few more weeks and months to make sure we get to the finish line in a way that will save the maximum number of lives,” added Collins.
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