The mayors of Miami-Dade’s biggest cities will speak with the media Thursday amid growing concern over communication with the county over recent closures ordered by the county’s Mayor, Carlos Gimenez.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will be joined by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez at the meeting scheduled at Miami’s City Hall.
Suarez said Gimenez's orders, which limit county restaurants to outdoor dining, takeout and delivery and goes into effect Thursday, caught many by surprise.
"When you make a decision of this magnitude, there has to be a justification, and I think that’s what was missing," Suarez said.
Suarez said he wants more data to back up a decision like the one closing restaurants for indoor diners.
“If people work in restaurants or if people got it at restaurants and that’s an 80 percent number or 50 percent number, then clearly something has to be done," Suarez said. "But if that’s a two percent number then, you know, you may not want to do something that affects so many people, so many small businesses."
Suarez said the City of Miami has no choice but to follow the county orders.
In an interview with NBC 6 Tuesday, Gimenez responded to Suarez's criticism.
"If he thinks he’s out of the loop, well then I think he needs to get in the loop," Gimenez said. "I don’t have a beef with the mayor, apparently, maybe he has one with me.”
Suarez said Wednesday that he hasn't spoken with Gimenez in three weeks. The county has seen a large increase in COVID-19 cases in that time, more than doubling its cases since mid-June.
“There definitely has to be more communication, no doubt," Suarez said.
Miami-Dade County's case total rose Wednesday by more than 2,900, to 53,974, with 1,068 virus-related deaths in the county.
Gimenez rescinded an order Tuesday closing gyms, however, saying now anyone inside would have to wear a mask.