Left off list: Hialeah mayor says he was snubbed from DeSantis meeting

City has second highest COVID-19 rate in Miami-Dade County

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Miami-Dade County mayors gathered with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing surge in cases and get on the same page, but it is who was not invited to that round-table discussion that’s raised some eyebrows.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told DeSantis: "We have to create a greater sense of urgency."

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said: "There is significant pressure for us to shut down at some level."

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county continue to climb higher and, so too do the number of cars lined up outside several Miami-Dade testing sites.

The city of Hialeah has the second largest number of cases behind No. 1 Miami in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. But when the mayor of Hialeah, Carlos Hernandez showed up for the governor’s roundtable, he was told he was not invited.

Hernandez has been outwardly critical of the state's response.

Hialeah ranks in the top 5 cities in Florida for coronavirus cases.

DeSantis was asked later why the mayor of a noted COVID-19 hotspot wasn’t invited.

“I don’t know. I was uhh . . . I didn’t um . . .I don’t know. I wasn’t personally the one that invited the folks, so,” DeSantis said.

Hernandez later discussed the snub on CNN.

“I guess he doesn’t like criticism and he behaved like a spoiled child,” Hernandez said.

The Hialeah mayor accused the governor of playing politics with the pandemic.

“You know, it’s a shame. This is a very serious thing. Our state is in a serious situation right now.”

The governor’s office said they did offer to meet with Hernandez after the meeting but that the mayor of Hialeah mayor declined.

Signs of the coronavirus slowing in Miami-Dade County don’t seem to be happening anytime soon. Testing sites in the area continue to be jam packed. At one of the busiest sites, the Hard Rock Stadium, anyone arriving at the back of the line in the afternoon will most likely have up to a four-hour wait.

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.