Although states like New York and New Jersey appear to have completely turned the corner on the coronavirus by imposing strict lockdown measures and actually adhering to them for months, some states from Florida to Arizona are breaking new records every day.
In Florida -- which just set yet another new record about an hour before I began writing this with over 3,800 additional cases -- Governor Ron DeSantis says cases are only surging because Hispanic people spend too much time huddled together.
The Republican governor told reporters on Tuesday that migrant workers and Hispanic construction workers have been testing positive for COVID-19, in part, because of cramped living and working conditions.
“Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there’s all these opportunities to have transmission,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Tallahassee.
DeSantis pointed to cases in migrant camps, a watermelon farm and Immokalee, a major hub for tomato production, to explain the uptick.
What do all of these examples have in common?
They were all deemed "essential" so, for them, there never was a lockdown.
The nation was suppose to use our time in home isolation to flatten the curve of infections, but many Americans squandered that sacrifice by either refusing to do simple things like wear a mask, or by losing interest in the virus and letting their guard down within a couple weeks after reopening parts of the economy.
The Hispanic workers and laborers that DeSantis is blaming for surging infections aren't the source of the outbreak. Freedumb loving Americans who think masks are unconstitutional, or whatever, are the source.
It takes some fucking nerve to say we're reopening the economy so we can all get haircuts again and then blame essential workers for the surge. They didn't have a choice! Some states are even cutting off unemployment benefits from people who don't want to go back to their risky jobs where they might be "packed like sardines."
Antonio Tovar, executive director of the Farmworker Association of Florida, accused DeSantis of ignoring pleas from a coalition of 50 groups that asked the governor for help in late April.
“We sent this letter to the governor more than two months ago and now he is realizing that foreign workers are more suitable to get infected. That is very shameful because he was advised, he was told when we sent the letter,” Tovar told The News Service of Florida on Wednesday.
The letter asked DeSantis, Florida Cabinet members and state lawmakers to expand access to COVID-19 testing in rural areas, provide more personal protective gear to farmworkers and offer alternative housing options to workers who live in crowded conditions.
Experts who know better than I do say what we're seeing now is not necessarily a "second wave" of infections. They say it's still the first wave in locations that didn't get hit particularly hard earlier in the year when New York saw its peak.
With Republican state governors outright refusing to impose new restrictions or go back into lockdown, it's anyone's guess how they'll stop their first wave.