Jared Moskowitz; COVID-19 Variants; Election Look Ahead; Class of COVID-19

Feb 19, 2021

State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, who oversees Florida’s vaccination distribution, announced earlier this week that he plans to step down in April.

He joined us to explain his decision, and to update us on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine program.

COVID-19 VARIANTS

Public health officials say Florida has the most cases of a new, and highly contagious variant of coronavirus. Its commonly known as the “UK variant” because it was first identified in Great Britain. Its official name is the B117 variant.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has nearly 380 cases of the variant, which is over double the number of cases in California, the second leading state. Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at FIU Medical School, shared her insights on the variant with us.

ELECTION LOOK AHEAD

Some Republicans have been touting Governor Ron DeSantis as presidential timbre in 2024. Mary Ellen Klas, the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Miami Herald, joined us for a closer look at the subject, as well as the state’s next gubernatorial race.

CLASS OF COVID-19

Tens of thousands of public school students in Florida are missing - they have not been attending school virtually, or in a classroom. This includes some of the hardest students to find even during normal times - the children of migrant farmworkers.

The vulnerability of those students is generations old. Since the mid-1960s, a federal government program has supported initiatives to help get them in school. Currently, however, almost 300 migrant students are missing from Hillsborough County public schools.

Kerry Sheridan of WUSF covered the issue for Class of Covid-19, a series for which Florida Public Radio stations have been reporting on how the pandemic has affected education in Florida. She joined us to discuss it in more detail, along with Gloria Padilla, statewide community relations manager for the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.