Controversy Over COVID-19 Reports; Audio Postcards From Fla. Voters; Gators Benched

Oct 16, 2020


  

As COVID-19 cases rise in Florida, state leaders are at odds over how cases and deaths are tracked. The statistics are used to inform policy decisions, such as the state’s phased reopening.

 

According to almost 16,000 Floridians have died from the virus to date, according to the Florida Dept. of Health. However, Speaker of the Florida House Jose Oliva has expressed skepticism over this figure. He commissioned his staff to review the reported COVID-19 deaths through late September, casting doubt on the cause of more than 2,000 deaths, claiming the virus was a factor, but not or likely not the cause of death. 

 

Mario Ariza, a reporter with the Sun-Sentinel, joined us to discuss how the state tracks and reports its numbers and the questions surrounding this reporting.

 

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, the past Chair of the Florida Board of Medicine, co-wrote an opinion piece calling on Gov. DeSantis to do more to avoid another spike in cases published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week. He also joined us for the discussion.

 

Audio Postcards From Florida Voters

 

This year, our partner stations have been amplifying voters’ voices across the state’s crucial I-4 Corridor. Voters are sharing their thoughts on the state of our democracy - in their own words.

 

Friday, we heard from Michael Weinbaum of Winter Garden. He said the pandemic and how it affects his school-aged kids influences how he looks at government and voting.

 

Dinorah Prevost from our sister station WUSF produced this audio postcard as part of America Amplified, a national reporting initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Florida Gators Bench Their Football Team

 

After a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases, the University of Florida Gators benched its entire football team. And they’re not the only ones - colleges across the country are suspending athletics.

 

Payton Titus is a sports writer with The Independent Alligator in Gainesville. She joined us to discuss how the pandemic is impacting athletics and academics.

 

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.