Districts Defy DeSantis; Ventilators To Fla.; Back To School; Doctors Advocate For Students

Aug 13, 2021

A handful of school districts across the state are enforcing mask mandates despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order guaranteeing parents have the right to choose when it comes to masks. Today, a judge hears a lawsuit from Florida parents as they go to court to fight DeSantis’ order in an effort to let local school districts require mask wearing in schools. 

Guest: The parents' attorney, Charles Gallagher

Feds Send Ventilators To Florida

Also this week, the federal government fulfilled Florida's request for hundreds of additional ventilators as the delta variant surges. Meanwhile, in an open letter to DeSantis, more than 800 doctors across the state call for universal masking in schools, a new vaccination push and daily COVID reports from the state.

Back To School

This, as Florida reported almost 25,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An average of 1,800 Florida residents are admitted to the hospital every day with COVID, 35 of them children.

As most counties started back to school this week, hundreds of students and teachers are already under quarantine for exposure to the virus.

Guests:

Doctors Advocate For Students

DeSantis maintains firm opposition to schools' mandating masks. This week, DeSantis and state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran threatened to withhold funding for districts that enforce mask mandates. 

Guests: 

  • Dr. Mona Mangat, an allergist and immunologist in St. Petersburg
  •  Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami cardiologist and Florida state lead for the Committee to Protect Healthcare 

Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.