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State investigates local governments; breast cancer awareness month; Florida manatees in trouble

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Dozens of companies and local governments face investigation by the state for their vaccine requirements. A public records request of the state Department of Health by the Orlando Sentinel found over 100 complaints are “under review,” including an airline, a cruise ship operator, a defense contractor and a public library.

Florida state law bans companies from requiring customers to be vaccinated and prohibits local governments from requiring vaccinations. This week, the state fined Leon County $3.5 million. dollars for its vaccine policy, calling it a “blatant violation”. Leon County calls its employee vaccine requirement legally justifiable, necessary and responsible.

State law reads: “prohibiting governmental entities from requiring persons to provide documentation certifying vaccination against or recovery from COVID-19.”

Guests:

  • Ken Cornell, chair of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.
  • Wayne Messam, mayor of the city of Miramar.
  • John Kennedy, reporter for the Capital Bureau of USA Today Network-Florida.

Breast cancer awareness month

More than 20,000 Floridians will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society. Thousands of families are living with the disease and even more are survivors.

Florida’s first family finds itself as one of the most recent families dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. Last week, the governor’s office announced that First Lady Casey DeSantis had breast cancer. The governor made his first public comments this week. The type and stage of Casey DeSantis’ breast cancer have not been released.

According to 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of new breast cancer diagnosis in Florida is slightly below that of the national rate.

Guests:

  • Dr. Saranya Chumsri, associate professor of Medicine, Jacoby Center for Breast Health/Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville.
  • Cynthia Farah, breast cancer survivor and Lead National Volunteer for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Florida manatees in trouble

State wildlife officials reported that 968 manatees have died so far this year. The record-setting number of deaths has conservationists sounding the alarm.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has asked state lawmakers for nearly $7 million to help restore the waterways manatees call home. Gil Mcrae, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, says cleaning up manatee habitats is key to preventing more deaths.

The mammals’ key food source, seagrass, has been declining due to poor water quality. The decline is believed to be linked to many manatees dying of starvation.

Guests:

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

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