Banyai blasts Donalds for COVID carelessness at Trumper superspreader event in Golden Gate

A tightly-packed, mostly unmasked crowd gathers at the Golden Gate Veterans of Foreign Wars hall yesterday. (Image: NBC2 News)

Oct. 9, 2020 by David Silverberg

Cindy Banyai, Democratic congressional candidate in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, blasted her opponent, Republican Byron Donalds, for potentially spreading COVID-19 at a largely maskless rally for Donald Trump in the Golden Gate area of Naples yesterday, Oct. 8.

“My opponent took part in this MAGA event in Naples today,” she tweeted. “Many people crowded together, hardly anyone wore a mask. We can pretend COVID-19 isn’t real or we can work to stop it. I acknowledge science, mitigate the risk, and work to protect the vulnerable.”

Donalds, who addressed the crowd of roughly 250 Trump supporters, said those not wearing masks believe in freedom, Dave Elias, political correspondent for NBC-2 News reported.

“You should not be ridiculed if you wear one or you choose not to wear one,” he said. Donalds has consistently opposed mask mandates.

The crowd at the Golden Gate Veterans of Foreign Wars hall (which is in the neighboring 25th Congressional District) was also addressed by Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager fired by Trump in June 2016 for his erratic and divisive behavior, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), whose state is a current coronavirus hotspot, with 26,441 cases.

Cindy Banyai with mask.

Banyai chose to drop a scheduled, in-person debate with Donalds at the Estero Republican Club last night due to the risk of catching coronavirus.

She said the Republican Club had refused to take basic safety measures like spacing out seats, requiring masks, doing temperature checks and putting partitions between the candidates.

“I was looking forward to connecting with members of our community and a lively exchange of ideas, but your health and that of my family, including my youngest daughter who has a history of health issues, are more important than any single event,” she stated. “The health and safety protocols requested are particularly important because Byron Donalds was potentially exposed to COVID19 during his recent visit with Trump. He has not released a secondary test to indicate he is in the clear. Mr. Donalds was also at a rally earlier today that did not observe pandemic public health measures.”

Yesterday Banyai also began running a paid advertisement on local television stations.

The night before, Banyai and Donalds had starkly different reactions to the debate between Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

“The moderator is doing a great job tonight. Just let the candidates speak. They will tell us who they are, and they have to answer for their records. The records of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris is destructive of our economy and our country,” tweeted Donalds, who issued three tweets during the debate.

Banyai maintained a running commentary throughout the debate. “Seriously, Kamala channeled every woman whoever tried to get her point across while being interrupted by a lesser qualified man with #imspeaking,” she tweeted.

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg

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