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. 

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

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



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.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and politics, and oftentimes, the two were intertwined in Florida.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

COVID-19 has cost Florida billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The virus has hit the state’s biggest industry — tourism — hard.

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Physicians and public officials warn infection rates and death tolls are still rising, despite the arrival of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and likely approval of the Moderna vaccine, so Floridians need to keep masking up.


The first round of COVID-19 vaccines could be administered here in Florida next week.


Confirmed COVID-19 cases have continued to rise around the state, surpassing one million infections this week. Despite these numbers, Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida schools will stay open for the rest of the year.

Cars lined up for COVID-19 testing.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Colleges are working hard to control the spread of COVID-19. But how will the vector of college students on the move this Thanksgiving weekend impact the pandemic, both on campus and off?

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

As Florida refines its plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov Ron DeSantis is facing criticism for his handling of the pandemic.


COVID-19 numbers are, once again, on the rise across Florida. This week, more than 5,000 Floridians received positive test results every day — the highest numbers since early August.

AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool

President Donald Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes handily this week. 


With less than a week to go before Election Day, President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden held rallies Thursday in Tampa, with more Florida rallies scheduled over the weekend with their surrogates. 

Trump and Biden

Turnout has been strong for early voing in Florida. More than 4.8 million Floridians - a third of the state’s registered voters - had already voted by mail or at the polls by Friday morning.



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.


AP Photo/Alan Diaz


On Monday, which was the deadline to register to vote in Florida,  the state’s voter registration website crashed. Governor Ron DeSantis extended the registration deadline to this past Tuesday at 7 p.m., but voters’ rights groups sued, arguing voters should have more time. 

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee


Late last week, Governor DeSantis reopened the state for business under Phase 3. Among other things, that means that most restaurants and bars can now be open at full capacity. He also eliminated fines against anyone ticketed for breaking local mask orders.

Sky Lebron / WJCT News May 2020 file photo



With less than six weeks until Election Day, Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed new legislation outlining stiffer penalties for violent protests.

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

Four months’ worth of rain fell in just four hours in Pensacola on Wednesday as Hurricane Sally hit the far western portions of Florida. The Category 2 storm resulted in rescue efforts to save Floridians from storm surge and floodwaters. Tens of thousands in the Panhandle remain without power as more rain threatens the area this weekend.

Associated Press


Editor’s Note: The Florida Roundup experienced technical difficulties during Friday’s program.


In the final months of the presidential race, Florida’s Latino voters are a focus of President Donald Trump's and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden's attention, as Marist polling shows that this critical and diverse demographic could swing the election.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee



On Friday’s program, we discussed how Florida is preparing to vote in the presidential election during the pandemic. One of the areas we focused on was vote-by-mail.



From left, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Barron Trump stand on the South Lawn of the White House during the final night of the Republican National Convention.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Thursday night, the Republican National Convention concluded with President Donald Trump accepting the GOP presidential nomination for a second term.

File photo of students returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press



Democrats are gearing up to try and win Florida in November. We spoke to Nik Harris, a Joe Biden delegate from Broward County, about the virtual DNC, and why she thinks we need to bring “decency back in the White House.” 

Photo/Charlie Riedel


On today’s program we took a closer look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is dividing Floridians on issues such as wearing facemasks in public, reopening schools and playing sports. 

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the formation of a Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities in Florida.



On Friday's program, we got an update on Hurricane Isaias from Ray Hawthorne, who is a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).