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The Florida Roundup

The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.

Join our hosts, veteran journalists from our partner public radio stations: WLRN’s Tom Hudson, broadcasting from Miami and WJCT’s Melissa Ross, broadcasting from Jacksonville.

One out of every three applications for unemployment in Florida has been deemed ineligible to get relief. Are the people applying for the support to blame, or is the trouble with the state’s unemployment system?

Some areas of Florida, such as Miami, are just beginning to reopen parts of their economy, while others, like Jacksonville, are planning to expand their reopening. Ron DeSantis announced Friday in Jacksonville that restaurants, stores, and museums can ramp up to operating at 50 percent capacity. Gyms can reopen Monday. 

After facing weeks of criticism, Florida’s leaders feel vindicated in their response to coronavirus. Even though death totals are rising in the state, it appears Florida dodged the worst of the pandemic by some metrics.

 


This week Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his Phase One reopening plan, which will take effect across most of the state (with tighter restrictions remaining in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, where over half the confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths are located) on Monday, May 4.

Deaths at long-term care facilities account for more than a quarter of the more than 1,000 people in Florida who have died from COVID-19. After weeks of increasing pressure, the governor released the names of the facilities with reported cases of COVID-19.

 

But that list contained incorrect and, some have said, incomplete information. The number of current cases, the status of those infections, and the number of fatalities at specific homes remain unknown. 

 


Some parts of the state are gradually reopening, even as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue rising.

 

On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis met with his newly-formed task force to discuss how to reopen the state. This meeting comes as he faces growing criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Governor Ron DeSantis recently arranged for a million doses of hydroxychloroquine to come to Florida as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. President Trump has repeatedly recommended the medication to treat coronavirus, despite warnings from his own health officials that there’s no scientific data to support its use.


 


 

Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, has been touted by some politicians, including President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis to treat coronavirus, but it does not have the approval of the Centers for Disease Control for this use.

 


 

After mounting pressure, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a safer at home order for the entire state of Florida this week, to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted pressure to shut down the state. Critics say he’s being too timid in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

 

On a special edition of the program - The Florida Roundup: Primary Night - we took a closer look at Florida’s presidential primary, which took place Tuesday, March 17, amidst coronavirus concerns, with: 

Answering Questions About The Coronavirus In Florida

Mar 14, 2020

Florida’s COVID-19, Coronavirus, cases are growing, and Floridians are receiving guidance from state public health officials that is sometimes confusing.

This week, the Florida Democratic Party disavowed some controversial comments made by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, their party’s current frontrunner in the presidential race.

Sanders praised Castro’s literacy and health care programs in Cuba, sparking outrage among Cuban exiles here in Florida. Also, recently there has been outrage after young children around the state have been Baker Acted or even arrested.

It’s called “the plastic monster.” The 15-foot sculpture made of plastic bags, bottles, and packaging visited the state Capitol in Tallahassee earlier this month and has stopped in Publix parking lots throughout the state.

Parkland father Fred Guttenberg was removed from President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday after the president proclaimed that he would protect Second Amendment rights, and Guttenberg retorted in frustration: “What about the victims of gun violence, like my daughter?”

Florida Gun Reform; Iowa Caucus

Feb 7, 2020

On Friday's Roundup we looked at the gun reform issue in Florida. We also discussed how people here in Florida took part in the Iowa caucus remotely.

On Friday's Roundup we discussed the decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to no longer donate to Florida’s school voucher program after learning some of the state-funded schools have policies that discriminate. We also looked at how this Sunday's Super Bowl in Miami is going green.

On Friday's Roundup, we discussed the parental consent bill that requires parents of minor girls seeking an abortion to approve of the abortion before a doctor can perform it. Also, lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering a bill that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency, along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force.

On today’s program we discussed teacher pay and E-Verify, as Florida lawmakers prepare to reconvene on January 14.

On today’s program, we spent the full hour looking ahead to the 2020 elections in November, including what’s being done to ensure votes are secure and counted properly.

Two women at voting booth
ROBERTO ROLDAN / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

On today’s Florida Roundup, we spent the full hour looking ahead to the 2020 elections in November, including what’s being done to ensure votes are secure and counted properly.

The environment will likely be a top story in Florida in the upcoming year. 2019 has been one of the hottest on record. King tides were some of the highest recorded. And, while Hurricane Dorian skirted along the Atlantic coast, it was a reminder of how vulnerable Florida is as climate change fuels more intense and wetter storms.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Monday—the next stage in the Impeachment Inquiry against President Donald Trump. The date of the next hearing seems to be one of the few facts where there’s agreement between Democrats and Republicans.

HIV In Florida

Nov 30, 2019

With World AIDS Day approaching, we spent the full program taking a closer look at HIV in Florida with:

Stigma, poverty, immigration issues and access to care are among the main causes to blame for Florida’s high rates of HIV and AIDS.

A small Florida county jumped into the ongoing fight between President Trump and the media this week when its county commission's dissing of the New York Times made national headlines.

Conservative commentator and author George Will says Florida voters hold the key to victory in next year’s presidential election. Will says that without the Sunshine State, it would be difficult for any candidate to find a path to 270 electoral votes.

On Friday’s program, we took a closer look at Florida’s Republican Party with Mike Haridopolos, author of  The Modern Republican Party of Florida and George Will, a columnist and the author of The Conservative Sensibility.

On Friday's program, we took a closer look at the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, it’s ties to Florida, and two new University of North Florida (UNF) polls. 

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