Florida Democratic Party cancels Orlando conference over COVID-19 fears

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Pointing to a continued surge of COVID-19 cases, the Florida Democratic Party on Monday called off a major annual conference and fundraising event scheduled for the end of August in Orlando.

The party said it was postponing the Leadership Blue event, which had been slated for Aug. 27 through Aug. 29, but did not indicate when the event might be rescheduled.



“Over the last few weeks we closely monitored the relevant metrics and consulted with renowned epidemiological experts from Florida and beyond,” party Executive Director Marcus Dixon said in a prepared statement. “We planned to have robust health and safety protocols in place, but eventually came to the conclusion that, given the trajectory of new infections and hospitalizations across the state and school openings in the weeks leading up to the event, it would have been imprudent to carry out this event as scheduled.”

In announcing the postponement, the party also took aim at Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, describing the surge as a “DeSantis-enabled COVID-19 spike.”



Florida reported more than 80,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 332 deaths from Friday to Sunday, information updated Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. With 80,536 new cases reported over the three-day period, the state was responsible for about 32 percent of the 251,629 new COVID-19 cases nationally during the time span.



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