Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Florida Republican Criticizes Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Scott’s Handling Of COVID-19 Crisis: ‘I Am a Proud Conservative…But Now Everything Is Like Falling Apart”
Press Release

RELEASE: Florida Republican Criticizes Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Scott’s Handling Of COVID-19 Crisis: ‘I Am a Proud Conservative…But Now Everything Is Like Falling Apart”

Press Contacts

  • Freedom Murphy

Washington, D.C. — In a new campaign by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Ernst Virgile of Fort Lauderdale, Florida—who lost his job at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in March because of the coronavirus—criticizes Sen. Rick Scott’s (R) handling of the pandemic as the number of confirmed cases in the state peaked to a record high this week. Virgile, who emigrated to the United States from Haiti in 2012, identifies as a proud conservative, but says that President Donald Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and Sen. Scott’s leadership have failed in their duty as public servants to address the crisis and save lives.  

“I am a proud conservative. I love this country, but now, everything is like falling apart,” he says. “Imagine that the most powerful country in the world, the most powerful economy, and people are dying? We are in the middle of a crisis. That’s not people’s fault, and that’s not the government’s, but the government, their job is to handle this properly. People are in need, they need the government by their side to help them, that’s why they are here.”

Sen. Scott was recently criticized for his comments about rising unemployment, saying that employees don’t want businesses to reopen because they could “collect more on unemployment.” He also came under fire for backing Gov. DeSantis’ refusal to issue a statewide mask order, even after directly linking the lack of mask-wearing to the rising cases in the state. As Virgile says in the video, not only was Sen. Scott’s comment about working-class Americans completely wrong, it also failed to capture their concerns about the dangers of this pandemic.   

“It’s tough to work two jobs. It is not something that is easy. But the thing is I did it for a purpose—the purpose of living the American dream. But right now, everything is like falling apart,” he says. Virgile continues to say in the video, “I don’t know where we are going to find money to pay the mortgage. If nothing gets done, it’s gonna be very tough. We don’t want to live on unemployment. But we want to get back to work safely. My message for Sen. Rick Scott: He is here to please his president. He does not care about the majority of the population.” 

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at fmurphy.af@americanprogressaction.org.