MIAMI, Fla. – An immigration reform activist interrupted Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday as he walked out for a news conference at a Miami hospital amid Florida’s recent surge in coronavirus cases yelling at the state leader about his response to the international health crisis.
“Shame on you! You are an embarrassment! You are an embarrassment! We are getting record breaking cases and you are doing nothing,” Thomas Kennedy said seconds after the governor arrived at the podium.
Kennedy, a Miami-based immigration activist with United We Dream, tweeted the video he took and identified himself as the person behind the shouts that were carried live on air throughout Florida television stations carrying the news conference. A little over an hour after it was posted the video had nearly 170,000 views.
DeSantis was speaking from Jackson Memorial Hospital at Monday, 24 hours after the Florida Department of Health reported a record-breaking 15,299 new cases. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Jackson Memorial Hospital CEO Carlos Migoya also spoke during the news conference.
According to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration dashboard, 8,085 people are receiving treatment in hospitals around Florida due to complications with the respiratory illness. South Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, continue to report the highest case numbers and hospitalizations overall.
“Shame on you, you should resign,” Kennedy said as he was forced out of the conference room.
I just interrupted a press conference in Miami-Dade to let governor @RonDeSantisFL and @MayorGimenez know they are an embarrassment to FL and that their incompetence and lack of planning has resulted in the current public health crisis.— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) July 13, 2020
4,381 people have died so far in FL pic.twitter.com/q6SozHfT8o
As Kennedy was directed out of the conference room he urged the security staff to not touch him. “Social distance,” he said to one man who stepped in front of his camera very closely.
“Over 4,000 people have died and you are blaming the protesters, you guys have no plans and are doing nothing,” Kennedy said directing his comments at the governor and the Miami-Dade County mayor.
Florida’s coronavirus death toll reached 4,38 on Monday, including 104 non-residents who have died in the state.
DeSantis continued to deliver his opening remarks for a few second but as Kennedy’s yells continued he stopped until security had escorted the man out of the room.
The governor did not speak or react to Kennedy’s comments.
It’s unclear how Kennedy was granted access to the hospital conference room.