Florida Roundup

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This week, we took a closer look at the rising number of COVID-19 cases, how patients are being cared for, and what’s being done to try and help slow the spread of the virus in Florida.

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On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall.

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Due to a spike in new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations this week, many cities and counties in Florida are now requiring face coverings in public.

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Coronavirus cases are surging in Florida, with more than 89,000 cases and 3,104 reported at the time of this story's publication. 

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

President Trump will now accept the Republican presidential nomination in Jacksonville in August.

Sky Lebron/WJCT

People took to the streets across Florida this week - from Pensacola to Key West - marching against police violence and for racial justice.

AP Photo/John Locher

President Donald Trump is threatening to move the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte this summer unless North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper can assure "full attendance" will be allowed. Cooper has said North Carolina is guided by public health and nothing else. 

CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Some areas of Florida, such as Miami, are just beginning to reopen parts of their economy, while others, like Jacksonville, are planning to expand their reopening. Ron DeSantis announced Friday in Jacksonville that restaurants, stores, and museums can ramp up to operating at 50 percent capacity. Gyms can reopen Monday. 

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Florida has entered the Phase 1 stage of reopening with restaurants operating at 25 percent capacity. Parks and beaches have also reopened, across much of the state. 

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This week Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his Phase One reopening plan, which will take effect across most of the state (with tighter restrictions remaining in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, where over half the confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths are located) on Monday, May 4.

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Some parts of the state are gradually reopening, even as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue rising.

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On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis met with his newly-formed task force to discuss how to reopen the state. This meeting comes as he faces growing criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, has been touted by some politicians, including President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis to treat coronavirus, but it does not have the approval of the Centers for Disease Control for this use.

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a Monday news conference at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
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After mounting pressure, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a safer at home order for the entire state of Florida this week, to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

GEORGE CALIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted pressure to shut down the state. Critics say he’s being too timid in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

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Health officials in Florida fear the virus is present in nearly two dozen long-term care facilities.

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On a special edition of the program - The Florida Roundup: Primary Night - we took a closer look at Florida’s presidential primary, which took place Tuesday, March 17, amidst coronavirus concerns, with: 

Answering Questions About The Coronavirus In Florida

Mar 13, 2020
GEORGE CALIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Florida’s COVID-19, Coronavirus, cases are growing, and Floridians are receiving guidance from state public health officials that is sometimes confusing.

BRYNN ANDERSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The coronavirus is spreading in Florida, with the latest presumptive case reported in Santa Rosa County. Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a public health state of emergency.  On this week’s Roundup we discussed COVID-19 in the Sunshine State and also looked at how the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is shaping up in Florida now that early voting is underway.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

This week, the Florida Democratic Party disavowed some controversial comments made by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, their party’s current frontrunner in the presidential race.

Sanders praised Castro’s literacy and health care programs in Cuba, sparking outrage among Cuban exiles here in Florida. Also, recently there has been outrage after young children around the state have been Baker Acted or even arrested.

DAVID GOLDMAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Florida health officials say they can’t release information about how many people have been tested for COVID-19, the coronavirus, but have confirmed there have been no confirmed cases in the state. On this week's roundup we looked at what listeners need to know about the virus, and the flu this year along with the ongoing fight over Amendment 4.

Florida Gun Reform; Iowa Caucus

Feb 7, 2020
Terry Renna / Associated Press

On Friday's Roundup we looked at the gun reform issue in Florida. We also discussed how people here in Florida took part in the Iowa caucus remotely.

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On Friday's Roundup we discussed the decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to no longer donate to Florida’s school voucher program after learning some of the state-funded schools have policies that discriminate. We also looked at how this Sunday's Super Bowl in Miami is going green.

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On Friday's Roundup, we discussed the parental consent bill that requires parents of minor girls seeking an abortion to approve of the abortion before a doctor can perform it. Also, lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering a bill that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency, along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force.

Fees, Fines For Ex-Felons; Legal Recreational Marijuana

Jan 17, 2020
A sign directing people to a Jacksonville voting precinct is pictured.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

On Friday's Roundup, we discussed the Florida Supreme Court ruling that former felons have to first finish paying any fines and fees they still owe before they can vote. Also, voters will not get to decide the fate of recreational marijuana, but state lawmakers might.

ALEJANDRA MARTINEZ/WLRN

On today’s program we discussed teacher pay and E-Verify, as Florida lawmakers prepare to reconvene on January 14.

ROBERTO ROLDAN / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

On today’s program, we spent the full hour looking ahead to the 2020 elections in November, including what’s being done to ensure votes are secure and counted properly.

THE NATIONAL GUARD / FLICKR.COM

We devoted today’s program to Florida’s environment, how climate change is impacting it, and what it will take to become more resilient with:

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On today's progrm we looked at how Florida lawmakers reacted to this week’s impeachment vote with Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL 27).

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On Friday’s Roundup we discussed school safety in Florida. Reporting by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week found that a disturbing number of violent threats against students and teachers come from mentally impaired children who are fixated on violence, and have easy access to guns.

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