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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.

 


As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the formation of a Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities in Florida.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday announced the formation of a new task force focused on the safe and limited reopening of long-term care facilities in Florida. 

He says the panel will develop guidelines on how to safely allow family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities ,where visitation has been prohibited since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been a tough week for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Cases of coronavirus are soaring in the state. DeSantis maintains his administration is following the correct path in fighting the coronavirus.

A health care worker carries a stack of clipboards at a COVID-19 testing site
AP PHOTO/LYNNE SLADKY

This week, we took a closer look at the rising number of COVID-19 cases, how patients are being cared for, and what’s being done to try and help slow the spread of the virus in Florida.

boy wearing a mask and carrying a backpack walks in front of a wall
iStock / coscaron

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new statement Friday clarifying its position when it comes to schools reopening this fall.


  

On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall.

Florida is slamming the brakes on plans to move forward with reopening.  The move comes as a record high of nearly nine thousand people tested positive for Covid-19 today. The state also announced it was immediately suspending drinking alcohol at bars, as it tries to limit the spread of the virus.

As more people test positive, local municipalities from Key West to the Panhandle are ordering people to wear masks. But Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted a statewide rule.

As COVID-19 continues to spread in Florida—with a record number of Floridians diagnosed with the virus on Friday. Florida’s health department announced more than 3,800 cases. While more people are getting tested, the percentage of people testing positive is going up — above 10 percent for two out of the past three days.

President Trump will now accept the Republican presidential nomination in Jacksonville in August.

People took to the streets across Florida this week - from Pensacola to Key West - marching against police violence and for racial justice.

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.

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