Florida Roundup

Fridays at noon on WJCT 89.9 FM

Each week Melissa Ross of WJCT and Tom Hudson of WLRN in Miami, along with a panel of journalists from around the state, discuss the week in Florida news in The Florida Roundup. 

SCOTT KEELER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

COVID-19 infections are rising in Florida and hospitals are filling up with patients sick with the Delta variant. Public hospitals serve a large portion of the 9,000 people currently hospitalized, with numbers rising daily.

Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, joined us on the program to discuss why so many people are ill and how public hospitals are coping.

Gov. Ron DeSantis puts on his mask as he leaves a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami.
WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

COVID cases have surged in Florida in the past few weeks amid a plateau of vaccination rates and the spread of the Delta variant.  

In this June 22, 2021, file photo prepped COVID-19 vaccine filled syringes are at ready for use at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., prior to a visit by first Lady Jill Biden, as part of the Biden administration's
ROGELIO V. SOLIS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida has nearly doubled since last week.

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022.
GREG NASH / POOL VIA AP

Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings is hoping to take on Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2022 election. 

LYNNE SLADKY / AP

President Joe Biden arrived this week in Surfside, where he met with the first responders and families affected by the Champlain Towers collapse and pledged that the federal government will pick up 100% of the costs of the response to the collapse. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center left, and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, center right, arrive for a news conference near the scene where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed, Thursday, June 24, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami
LYNNE SLADKY / AP Photo

Early Thursday morning, part of the 12-story Champlain Towers South in Surfside, near Miami Beach, collapsed.  

JULIO CORTEZ / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Florida residents, more so than in any other state, are facing criminal charges for their participation in the January 6 Capitol insurrection. According to a USA Today analysis, about 1 in 10 people charged for the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have been Floridians. The charges range from being in an unauthorized area to conspiracy and assault of a police officer.

Some Businesses Are Struggling To Find People To Fill Positions
DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP FILE PHOTO

More jobs are returning to Florida as the pandemic-induced recession - which put thousands out of work - comes to an end. However, many companies say that they are having a hard time finding people to fill them.

LYNNE SLADKY / AP

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, who announced her run for governor this week, joined us.

Ryan Stanton / Flickr

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing for a new civics curriculum that would prevent critical race theory from being taught in the classroom.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Florida’s new gambling deal (which still has to be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior) would make it the largest state with legal sports betting.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Several controversial new laws passed this year in Florida have already been hit with lawsuits. 

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, announced he’s running for governor in 2022.

WFSU

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the initial results of the nationwide 2020 population count this week. 

THE OFFICE OF FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS

On today’s program, we took a closer look at the continued controversy around Florida’s “anti-riot bill” or HB-1, which Governor DeSantis signed into law on Monday. The bill raises the penalties for violence, burglary, looting and property damage during protests, among other things. 

Supporters say the new law gives added protection to innocent people who might get caught in the crosshairs of violent protests.

Critics say the law contains vague language that could lead to people being arrested while demonstrating peacefully.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at YouTube's decison to take down a video of Gov. Ron DeSantis and controversial health policy experts. YouTube claimed the video spread misinformation about kids and masks to stop COVID-19.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at the 60 Minutes piece on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ vaccine rollout and his reaction to it with Marc Caputo of Politico and Joshua Scacco, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida.

MARTA LAVANDIER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

On Friday’s program, we took a look at the latest on Florida’s vaccination efforts and the reluctance of some young adults to be vaccinated. Starting Monday, all Florida residents that are age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Our guests exploring the topic were:

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

On Friday’s program, we discussed Florida’s pandemic response – and how it measures up to that of other large states - with Dr. Ali Mokdad, Chief Strategy Officer, Population Health, University of Washington.

Phil Sears / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Florida will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to all people age 50 and older starting Monday.

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at how COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in Florida with reporters from around the state, including:

MARTA LAVANDIER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Friday’s program we took a closer look at who is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine - and where to get it - with Julio Ochoa of WUSF and Nicole Darden Creston of WMFE.

LYNNE SLADKY / ASSOCIATED PRESS

On this week’s Florida Roundup: More people across Florida may soon be able to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, and the U.S. Supreme Court hears the Florida-Georgia water war case.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

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

A sign advises passengers to wear face masks as they approach a security checkpoint at Miami International Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Miami.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Florida is now a hotspot for the more contagious strain of COVID-19, which originated in the United Kingdom. So far, almost 350 cases have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ self-described top priority for the upcoming legislative session is free speech on social media. 

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

On Friday's program, we took a closer look at where things stand with the state’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines - as well as the latest on its distribution efforts - with Ben Conarck, who covers health care for the Miami Herald and Stephanie Colombini, who reports on health care news for WUSF in Tampa.

Long-Term Care Facilities and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MATT SLOCUM / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Florida seniors continue to face problems as they try to make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Michelle Corum / WJCT News

Florida leaders say they are working hard to vaccinate seniors and other residents, but the state's pandemic response has come under criticism. In turn, Florida officials are pointing fingers at the federal government over a slowdown in the supply of vaccines.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

It has been a record-breaking week for new COVID-19 infections in Florida. So far, however, efforts to get vaccines distributed have been confusing and slow.

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