Hillsborough Democrats Support Virtual School Openings


Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee
Ione Townsend


TAMPA, FL, July 22 – The Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee passed a resolution Monday night calling on Hillsborough County to commit to an e-learning platform for the first nine weeks of school.

“The Governor’s assertion that children aren’t vectors is emphatically wrong. The positivity rate among children this month was 31 percent,” said Executive Committee Chairperson Ione Townsend, referring to a Florida Department of Health report released on July 9th.

“We can’t get this wrong. We have every reason to expect that schools could become a new super-spreader of this virus. There is zero evidence to contradict that theory,” she adds. “The Governor would like to wish this virus away, but that is not how viruses work.”

Townsend argues that until we see a consistent decline in the number of cases and fatalities for at least two weeks, and a positivity rate well below 10 percent, schools will need to remain physically shut. While the county undertakes the hard work to achieve these numbers, the schools must be given the resources, the time and guidelines to open safely.

“It didn’t have to be this way,” Townsend says. “If we had done what other states and nations and states have done, we might, with planning and protocols, be able to open safely. But we have to deal with the reality have, not the one we want. Opening the schools now is a reckless act that completely denies the reality in our homes and hospitals right now,” she said.

The vote took place in a virtual meeting, which was attended by more than 160 members, included Hillsborough County Commissioners Pat Kemp and Mariella Smith, both of whom concurred with the decision.

The Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee co-ordinates strategy to elect Democrats and promote progressive values in Hillsborough County.

For more information, please contact Ione Townsend at 813-704-5131 or itownsendhcdec@gmail.com.