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Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Tells Facing South Florida's Jim DeFede That Carlos Gimenez Won't Debate Her Because 'He Knows That He Has Failed' Handling The COVID Crisis

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is being challenged for her District 26 seat in Washington by Carlos Gimenez, the soon-to-be former Miami-Dade mayor.

Before her interview, Facing South Florida host Jim DeFede moderated a debate between Daniella Levine Cava and Steve Bovo, who are in the running for Gimenez's old job.

Gimenez's camp would not agree to a debate, and so DeFede went one-on-one with his opponent.

"I think that he knows that he has failed in protecting our community from coronavirus. I know that he realizes that both Republican mayors, city mayors here in the county, and also Democratic city mayors have denounced his failure in leading with this crisis. He was very slow to shut things down. Small businesses then were hurting because he was very slow to reopen things and he had absolutely no strategy on how to do this," she said.


DeFede brought up that Gimenez has said he's listened to the scientists and has made tough decision that he knows doesn't please everyone.

"He sounds like President Donald Trump saying that he's also been a great leader in this pandemic. And all you need to do is look at the numbers," she said. "We had a very small window of opportunity where we could have really crushed the virus and put in place a contact tracing program, expand testing. He failed to do that. I'm very proud of the fact that I actually was able to bring down the first drive-thru testing in all of Miami Dade County, that was in my district, with a partnership with the community health center there."

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Mucarsel-Powell went on to say that the biggest threat at stake in this election is the repeal of Obamacare.

"Donald Trump and the Republicans, from the moment he took office, he brought a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That lawsuit will be heard by the Supreme Court on November 10. And so with this new nomination to the Supreme Court, we know that all the stakes are against us and protecting 300,000 people living with preexisting conditions here in Florida's 26th district," she said. "God knows Gimenez has made it very clear that he supports the lawsuit against the ACA that was reported in the Miami Herald. He is right now very nervous that he said that that he admitted to supporting the lawsuit, and he's trying to backtrack but it's too late. We know who he is he actually cut funding to a department in the county that would provide open enrollment communication for people that wanted to enroll at the ACA. That's his track record."

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