Judge: DeSantis Overstepped On Masks; Rivkees Out; COVID-19 Crisis In Hospitals

Aug 27, 2021

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper today ruled that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates for students in Florida public schools is unconstitutional.

The state is expected to appeal the ruling, which comes as Florida grapples with a surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. 

Guest: Charles Gallagher, one of the filing attorneys representing the families in the case 

This week, a spokesperson for DeSantis said the state’s Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees would leave his post next month when his contract is up.

Guest: Kirby Wilson, a state government reporter with the Tampa Bay Times, gave us his analysis on the state's top doctor's vacancy. 

COVID-19 Crisis In Hospitals

Health care professionals throughout the state continue to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

Almost 100 doctors gathered at a parking lot of a Palm Beach County medical facility on Monday expressing their frustration with unvaccinated patients, as ICUs across the state face critical staffing shortages.

No patients were left unattended during the press conference.

Guest: Jacksonville hospitalist and member of Doctors Fighting COVID, Dr. Jen Cowart, who gave us insight into the challenges faced by hospitals across the state.

Meanwhile, Orlando and Tampa face shortages of their own. Oxygen used to purify the cities’ drinking water supply is being diverted to hospitals for COVID patients.

Guest: Dr. Sam Atallah, a surgeon with AdventHealth in Orlando

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