JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 3.11.20 – Biden Blowing Away Bernie – Pharmacy Benefits Managers in FL – Gaetz Tests Negative For Coronavirus – More…
Florida Politics

JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 3.11.20 – Biden Blowing Away Bernie – Pharmacy Benefits Managers in FL – Gaetz Tests Negative For Coronavirus – More…

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The 2020 Democratic presidential primary is all-but over now.

After enduring crushing losses on Super Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders appears to be on the path of another election year defeat.

Joe Biden is back and he keeps winning, for now.

Biden just won Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, and Michigan, and with Florida being next on the slate on March 17, it could all be over this time next week.

Some Democrats want it all over now and want the national Democratic Party to end it all now, which would effectively rig the election against Sanders. READ MORE HERE

Sanders will not win Florida after his pro-Fidel Castro rantings came to light, and after the veteran senator doubled and tripled down on his bromance with the former murderous dictator’s policies.

Biden will win Florida and the nomination, but will he remember that he won?

Biden’s memory is failing him. This happens to all of us as we age.

But even if he keeps confusing his sister and wife, forgetting Obama’s name, mistakenly telling crowds to reelect Trump, you got love it when he or any politician speaks plainly to every day Americans.

Biden just told a construction worker (to his face) that he was “full of Sh-t.”

You gotta love that! 

READ MORE ABOUT THAT HERE…   

Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is sounding defeated. >>> READ MORE

 

Visit The Floridian

 

 

“Biden Lashes Out at Michigan Construction Worker: ‘You’re full of sh-t’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with a Michigan construction worker who questioning his recent views on the Second Amendment, causing the 2020 presidential candidate to curse at the man, saying “you’re full of shit.” Biden was meeting members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant Tuesday morning. “You’re the best damn workers in the world,” Biden said to the construction workers before the exchange. “I promise you if I become your president you will never have a better friend in the White House. I’m union from, as my — I won’t say what my grandfather used to say, but from belt buckle to shoe sole, man.” While touring the assembly plant for Fiat Chrysler, Biden was confronted by one of the IBEW members who asked him about his stance on gun ownership. “You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns,” the worker told Biden, according to a video captured by reporters. When an aide tried to intervene, Biden told her, “No, now shush. Shush.” Biden then responded, telling the construction worker, “You’re full of shit” before explaining that he supports the Second Amendment. “I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment — just like right now, if you yelled ‘fire,’ that’s not free speech,” Biden said. “And from the very beginning — I have a shotgun, I have a 20-gauge, a 12-gauge. My sons hunt. Guess what? You’re not allowed to own any weapon. I’m not taking your gun away at all. You need 100 rounds?”

“OPINION: Hold Our Pharmacy Benefit Managers Harmless” Over 200 million Americans have their pharmacy benefits managed through a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, saving us approximately 25 percent on the cost of our prescription drugs vs. unmanaged drug costs. They are the only entities in the drug supply chain dedicated to lowering the cost and increasing the quality of our prescription drugs. Pharmacy Benefit Managers:

• act as liaisons between health insurance providers and patients utilizing prescription drug coverage

• monitor a patients’ drug use for potential complications or adverse interactions

• assist with medication adherence, and

• negotiate drug rebates and discounts

Our legislators need to ensure Floridians have access to quality, affordable health care. It is true that the growing cost of prescription drugs is challenging Florida patients’ access to necessary medications, but I caution lawmakers that there is no need for unnecessary government intervention with our pharmacy benefit managers that will only limit competition and increase our costs. I am hearing about some proposed ideas that would stifle innovation, impede quality improvement efforts, jeopardize patient safety, and harm patient health outcomes by putting government directly in the middle of private contracting with onerous and unnecessary government rules and duplicative regulations. Value-based, quality-driven contracting, that focuses on improving a patients’ health outcomes should be supported—not obstructed.

“Mucarsel-Powell Faces Tough Reelection Bid” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is the first South American immigrant member of Congress. Rep. Mucarsel-Powell has been a vocal supporter of gun control and has voiced her approval of providing TPS for Venezuelan immigrants, and is set to face a difficult general election later this year. This week, during Univision’s Al Punto, the freshman Florida Democrat was profiled, discussing how she is the first Ecuadorian immigrant to be elected to Congress and also the goals she has set for herself to achieve in 2020 and beyond. However, her reelection campaign coincides with a turbulent presidential election that finds Democrats fighting for the future of the party. With Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) looking to steer the party into the future, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell formally endorsed Vice President Biden in his bid for the White House. In 2016, President Trump carried the state of Florida to his victory, and he will need to do so again if he’s to maintain the White House red. Considering that Rep. Mucarsel-Powell supported impeaching the president while many Americans did not, this is likely to generate voter turnout in 2020. Her support for impeachment will undoubtedly be the focal point of national Republicans and her Republican congressional opponent.

“De Blasio to Warren: ‘Please Join Us’ to Endorse Sanders” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pleading with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to “join us” by endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential bid, saying the “progressive movement needs her more than ever.” “I deeply respect @ewarren. Our nation + our party is better + more progressive because of her leadership. Now our progressive movement needs her more than ever,” de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. “Senator, if the shoe were on the other foot @BernieSanders would have already endorsed you. We have.” I deeply respect @ewarren. Our nation + our party are better + more progressive because of her leadership. Now our progressive movement needs her more than ever. Senator, if the shoe was on the other foot @BernieSanders would have endorsed you already. Please join us! — Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 10, 2020. Warren ended her presidential bid last week after a disappointing Super Tuesday finishing. She failed to win her home state of Massachusetts, coming in third behind Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. She declined to make an endorsement, saying that she would take her time to determine whom to support. “Not today,” Warren responded to reporters when asked whom she would endorse between Sanders or Biden. “Let’s take a deep breath and spend a little time on that. We don’t have to decide that this minute.” The New York City dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary race in September and endorsed the self proclaimed Democratic Socialist last month before the Nevada Caucus. Sanders got the backing of the progressive Working Families Party on Monday, which initially endorsed Warren.

“Scott slams Sanders in Spanish-language ad” by Politico’s Gary Fineout and Marc Caputo – Sen. Bernie Sanders has a new foe stalking him in Florida: Republican Sen. Rick Scott. As Florida prepares for its presidential primary next week, Scott on Thursday will launch a Spanish-language ad that slams Sanders for his past praise of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. The ad includes footage of Sanders from the 1980s saying that Castro had “totally transformed the society.” If Democratic front-runner Joe Biden needed a nudge going into the March 17 primary, the Scott ad could provide it. The former vice president has a comfortable lead over Sanders in the Florida Democratic primary, which will award 219 delegates. The ad is running in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers. The Scott campaign said the ad buy would be in the mid five figures. It lands as thousands of Floridians already are casting ballots — nearly 655,000 Democrats have already voted, according to the state Division of Elections. Scott’s interference in the Democratic primary is widely seen in Republican circles as a warm-up act for either his reelection or a 2024 bid for president, where he could face fellow Floridians Gov. Ron DeSantis or Sen. Marco Rubio. Independently wealthy, Scott made his mark in Florida politics as an outsider businessman. He spent at least $149.5 million of his own money to win races for governor and U.S. Senate.

“Who holds the Catholic key to Florida’s 2020 election?” by NCR’s Peter Feuerherd – Gabriel Ocasio Mejias is a gay man and a Puerto Rican, reasons enough, he says, to vote against President Donald Trump in this year’s elections. But just two weeks before the Florida primary vote March 17, Mejias is focused on another election. He’s a union leader for Unite Here. Sipping a morning coffee from a Brazilian food truck beneath the trees outside the office park that houses the organizing effort, Mejias would soon be off to Tampa, with a delegation of airport workers, to the National Labor Relations Board offices to certify their union, anticipating an affiliation vote by summer. If the married man going home to his wife and kids after a long day at the auto plant was the traditional labor union profile, Mejias is its new look. Mejias, 28, was fired in February from his barista job at the Starbucks in the airport for, he says, drinking water. He says the real reason was his working to organize his fellow workers, who want a greater slice of the profits from the $5 cappuccinos sold there. Since coming from Puerto Rico two years ago and landing the job at Starbucks, Mejias was earning $10.25 an hour, with what he described as a substandard and expensive health care plan, with little opportunity to make more money as store managers cut down on overtime. Still, he misses the job and his fellow workers. “We are a close family at Starbucks, and we care about each other a lot,” he told NCR. Mejias moved from Puerto Rico with his family after Hurricane Maria, joining an estimated 50,000 fellow Puerto Ricans in central Florida, frequently referred to as the I-4 corridor, a 133-mile stretch runing from Tampa in the west to Daytona Beach in the east. It is considered a potential hotbed of anti-Trump sentiment, as many Puerto Ricans see themselves as orphans of a frequently castigated hurricane recovery effort. Mejias described himself as previously apolitical. But as a gay man, a Puerto Rican and a union leader — his union is neutral in the upcoming primary but will work against Trump as his corporate-friendly policies and appointments to the National Labor Relations Board work to stymie union organizing — Mejias is prepared to vote in this pivotal state. His wrath is directed at Trump.

“Florida House scraps controversial proposal to survey college students and faculty about political beliefs” by News Service of Florida – The House on Tuesday ditched a controversial proposal that would have required state colleges and universities to survey students and faculty members about their viewpoints. Rep. Ray Rodrigues pushed the surveys as part of a wide-ranging higher education bill (HB 613). But on Tuesday, the Estero Republican said the so-called intellectual freedom survey was “negotiated out of the bill” with the Senate and will no longer be considered during this year’s legislative session. The move was a concession to the Senate, which has opposed the idea last year and this year. Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, warned senators last spring that the survey idea would likely keep coming back and urged the Senate to continue blocking it. House Republicans, however, have pushed for the surveys to test whether people at colleges and universities feel free to “express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.” But the survey idea has drawn fierce pushback from faculty members. Speaking to lawmakers in December, Florida State University professor Matthew Lata questioned whether students and faculty members could face repercussions if they refuse to share their viewpoints. Lata worried that survey results could affect hiring practices at colleges and universities.

“Utilities don’t like this consumer advocate. Florida senators just approved term limits on his job.” By Tampa Bay Times’ Mary Ellen Klas – Using a skillful parliamentary maneuver, the Florida Senate on Tuesday kept alive a measure to impose term limits on the lawyer who represents the public on utility rate increases. The measure by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, has long been priority of the utility industry, whose lawyers have faced legal hurdles because the Office of Public Counsel has successfully challenged efforts to charge customers for out-of-state fracking operations or to raise customer rates in cases before the Public Service Commission. Under the measure, inserted by the Senate into HB 1095 and approved 37-1, the public counsel will be limited to 12 years, with three four-year terms. The original bill targeted J.R. Kelly, the head of the pubic counsel’s office, by requiring that the the legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight either reappoint or replace him by March 1, 2021 — about the time the state’s largest utilities could be in the midst of a rate case. (Florida Power & Light is allowed to petition the PSC for a rate increase in 2021, while Duke Energy Florida and TECO Energy could petition for rate cases in 2022.) But after objections from environmental and consumer groups that the measure was intended to intimidate Kelly, Simpson modified the provision to not target Kelly specifically. Last week, Simpson amended the bill to set the 12-year term limit clock to start in 2020, giving Kelly, who has held the office since 2007, a reprieve. Florida’s electric utility giants have been among the largest contributors to legislative coffers going into this legislative session, and Simpson, who is the incoming Senate president, is tasked with securing the Republican majority in the Senate. So far this election cycle, Florida Power & Light has donated $3.1 million to 2020 campaigns and political committees since the November 2018 election. TECO Energy has given almost $1.2 million and Duke Energy has spent about $870,000. The totals are from the Division of Elections website as of Tuesday.

“Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz says his coronavirus test was negative but he’ll stay self-quarantined” by Click Orlando’s Erin Dobrzyn – Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — who wore a giant gas mask last week while voting on a coronavirus House spending bill — said in a tweet Tuesday his coronavirus test came back negative. Gaetz was tested for the virus after attending the Conservative Political Action Conference where an attendee tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Paul A. Gosar, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Douglas A. Collins, who attended the same conference, also said they would self-quarantine, reports the Washington Post. On Monday, Florida Speaker of the House Jose Oliva announced that five House members were possibly exposed at the Conservative Political Action Conference and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference, where at least one person was infected with COVID-19: Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Rep. Thad Altman, Rep. Kionne McGhee, Rep. Byron Donalds and Rep. Corie Byrd. Gaetz tweeted that he will remain under self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution, and at the advice of medical professionals, through Thursday at 2 p.m. He said he continues to feel fine and is without symptoms of the COVID-19. Oliva said Monday that Sabatini, Altman, McGhee, Donalds and Byrd, along with a staff member, all voluntarily agreed to submit to testing after attending the event in question in Washington, D.C., where an attendee later tested positive; all of the legislators have self-isolated pending return of results. Oliva said the House will implement sanitation protocols, including sanitizing desks and common areas to ensure members, staff and the public are provided “reasonable assurance of cleanliness.

“One week before Florida primary, poll shows Joe Biden 36 points ahead of Bernie Sanders” by Sun Sentinel’s Anthony Man – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders in Florida with one week before the state’s presidential primary. The former vice president has the support of 61% of Democratic primary voters in a poll released Tuesday by Florida Atlantic University a 19-point increase since January. That puts Biden 36 points ahead of the other candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has 25%. FAU said 10% of the Florida voters it surveyed Thursday through Saturday were undecided, and another 3% said they’d vote for the one remaining candidate in the race, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Biden has been gaining in Florida even before many of the other candidates for the Democratic nomination started dropping out and endorsing him following his wins in primaries in South Carolina and in an array of Super Tuesday states. And leading Florida Democrats began distancing themselves from Sanders after comments he made in a Feb. 23 “60 Minutes” interview in which he said it was “unfair to simply say everything is bad” about the Cuban revolution led and presided over by the late dictator Fidel Castro. Sanders’ praise for Castro’s literacy program, and refusal to back down from his comments, led some state Democrats to predict he’d hurt the party in Florida if he became the party’s nominee.

In January, with many more candidates in the race, Biden had 42%, up from 34% in FAU’s September poll. Sanders support has increased 9 points since January, after months of remaining remarkably steady. He had 16% in FAU’s January poll, 14% in September and 12% in May. “Florida has been a strong Biden firewall state since we started polling a year ago,” Monica Escaleras, director of the Business and Economics Polling Initiative said in a written analysis of the results. “With voters’ attitudes becoming more fixed on their choices, there is nothing in this data that suggests a change in the direction of this race at this time.”

“Ashley Moody activates price gouging hotline in response to coronavirus” by The Capitolist’s Jordan Kirkland – Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for all consumers in the state in response to Governor Ron DeSantis declaring a state of emergency on in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Florida. “We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Florida very closely and following the Governor’s state of emergency declaration, our price gouging laws are now in effect,” Moody said in a press release. “I have a rapid response team ready to immediately respond to allegations of price gouging and our Consumer Protection Division continues to look for scams by fraudsters who would use this situation to rip-off Floridians.” “Be on the lookout for scams and guard against gouging, but remember, the best thing you can do right now is heed the advice of health experts—wash hands regularly and stay home if you are ill.” Commodities protected by the state’s price gouging law include: Masks used to protect you from others if you are sick. Sanitizing and disinfecting supplies, such as hand sanitizer, gel, wipes, cleaning supplies for surface cleaning. All commercial cleaning supplies. Today’s activation comes one day after DeSantis held a press conference, declaring a state of emergency that increases his powers to properly respond to the novel virus. The executive order issued on Monday will allow Desantis to deploy National Guard troops if necessary and will allow the state to quickly order supplies if they are needed.

“As coronavirus creates economic uncertainty, lawmakers may push pause button on some tax cuts” by The Capitolist’s Brian Burgess – With the threat of coronavirus looming over the Florida and national economy, lawmakers are starting to consider the broader economic implications on the state budget. Prior to the spread of the virus and the resulting economic jitters, state economists gave Governor Ron DeSantis enough confidence to call for a $91.4 billion state budget that included a number of tax cuts. But if the economy does start to contract, state coffers will the feel the pinch, and when combined with those cuts, could result in a significant shortfall. “What we’re going to see now, from here on out and into the summer,” said House Speaker Jose Oliva yesterday, “is probably a difficult economy.”

READ MORE at THE FLORIDIAN

 

 

 

“Biden Lashes Out at Michigan Construction Worker: ‘You’re full of sh-t’” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with a Michigan construction worker who questioning his recent views on the Second Amendment, causing the 2020 presidential candidate to curse at the man, saying “you’re full of shit.” Biden was meeting members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant Tuesday morning. “You’re the best damn workers in the world,” Biden said to the construction workers before the exchange. “I promise you if I become your president you will never have a better friend in the White House. I’m union from, as my — I won’t say what my grandfather used to say, but from belt buckle to shoe sole, man.” While touring the assembly plant for Fiat Chrysler, Biden was confronted by one of the IBEW members who asked him about his stance on gun ownership. “You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns,” the worker told Biden, according to a video captured by reporters. When an aide tried to intervene, Biden told her, “No, now shush. Shush.” Biden then responded, telling the construction worker, “You’re full of shit” before explaining that he supports the Second Amendment. “I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment — just like right now, if you yelled ‘fire,’ that’s not free speech,” Biden said. “And from the very beginning — I have a shotgun, I have a 20-gauge, a 12-gauge. My sons hunt. Guess what? You’re not allowed to own any weapon. I’m not taking your gun away at all. You need 100 rounds?”

“De Blasio to Warren: ‘Please Join Us’ to Endorse Sanders” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pleading with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to “join us” by endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential bid, saying the “progressive movement needs her more than ever.” “I deeply respect @ewarren. Our nation + our party is better + more progressive because of her leadership. Now our progressive movement needs her more than ever,” de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. “Senator, if the shoe were on the other foot @BernieSanders would have already endorsed you. We have.” Warren ended her presidential bid last week after a disappointing Super Tuesday finishing. She failed to win her home state of Massachusetts, coming in third behind Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. She declined to make an endorsement, saying that she would take her time to determine whom to support. “Not today,” Warren responded to reporters when asked whom she would endorse between Sanders or Biden. “Let’s take a deep breath and spend a little time on that. We don’t have to decide that this minute.” The New York City dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary race in September and endorsed the self proclaimed Democratic Socialist last month before the Nevada Caucus. Sanders got the backing of the progressive Working Families Party on Monday, which initially endorsed Warren.

“Biden builds on momentum with Michigan and Missouri wins, in blow to Sanders” by Fox News’ Gregg Re – Joe Biden swept to victory in Michigan’s pivotal primary contest Tuesday, while notching wins elsewhere in the Midwest and the South, building on the former vice president’s momentum from Super Tuesday a week ago and further clouding Sen. Bernie Sanders’ path forward in the presidential race. Saying America needs a president who “believes in empathy and compassion and respect for everyone,” rather than one bent on divisiveness, Biden sounded a measured tone as he addressed supporters in Philadelphia late Tuesday. “To all those who are knocked down, to all those who have been counted out, left behind — this is your campaign,” Biden said, his remarks frequently looking ahead to November’s general election. “Just a few weeks ago, many of the pundits had declared this candidacy dead. Now we’re very much alive.” Biden acknowledged “there’s a way to go,” but said it looks like “we’re gonna have another good night.” It is too early to project a winner in North Dakota, Idaho or Washington state, where polls have now also closed. With 67 percent of precincts reporting in Washington state, the two candidates were locked at 33 percent each. (Washington has vote-by-mail balloting, and other candidates received votes prior to Tuesday.) But Biden quickly claimed victories Tuesday night in Missouri and Mississippi as well as Michigan, the largest delegate prize of the night. Biden was up 54 percent to 38 percent in Michigan with roughly 70 percent of precincts reporting; he was posting even larger margins of victory in Mississippi and Missouri as of late Tuesday night. With these three wins alone, Biden is likely to substantially grow his delegate lead over Sanders, even as the results of the three other races remain outstanding.

“House Reaches Deal to Overhaul Surveillance Laws” by New York Times’ Nicholas Fandos and Charlie Savage – House leaders on Tuesday struck a bipartisan deal to overhaul surveillance laws just days before a trio of F.B.I. investigative tools expires, raising the possibility of a last-minute breakthrough in a politically complex debate over civil liberties and national security. The changes would install new privacy protections — including adding a skeptical voice to secret court deliberations when the F.B.I. wants to eavesdrop on Americans under certain circumstances — but stop short of more sweeping limits favored by some civil libertarians in both parties that are viewed skeptically by national security officials and centrist lawmakers. If it becomes law, the bill would represent Congress’s response to a damning inspector general report that uncovered numerous errors and omissions by the F.B.I. in applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, during the early stages of the Russia investigation. But even if the House passes the legislation, the bill could face obstacles in moving quickly through the Senate, where it would need 60 votes to overcome any filibuster. It would also need to be signed by President Trump, who has been unpredictable on surveillance policy issues while displaying a hazy understanding of their details. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Republican leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, abruptly unveiled the bill, the “USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020,” after days of intense negotiations. They set a vote for Wednesday. Much of the revised bill — co-sponsored by Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York and Adam Schiff of California, the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees — is similar to the legislation that the Judiciary Committee had been set to mark up two weeks ago, before a rebellion by liberal lawmakers seeking more drastic changes derailed it. But it contains some tweaks, including enhanced criminal penalties for abusing surveillance powers.

“Stocks Soar in Turbulent Trading a Day After Bruising Selloff” by Wall Street Journal’s Joe Wallace, Akane Otani and Xie Yu – Stocks soared in frenetic trading Tuesday, wiping out much of the losses they suffered just a day earlier in their biggest selloff since the financial crisis. The market opened sharply higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring nearly 1,000 points within the first few minutes of the opening bell. Stocks then erased the entirety of their gains before midday, only to charge higher again in the final hours of trading. To many analysts, the turbulent moves of the past few days suggest that riskier assets are still in the midst of a tenuous recovery that could take days to fully unfold—or ultimately wind up falling apart. The S&P 500 rose 135.67 points, or 4.9%, to 2882.23. At its lowest point Tuesday, the index was just 0.9% away from ending an 11-year bull market run that overcame issues ranging from a global trade war to the first-ever downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating. The Dow industrials, which at one point sat just 0.2% away from a bear market—a 20% drop from a recent high—closed up 1167.14 points, or 4.9%, to 25018.16. The Nasdaq Composite was up 393.58 points, or 5%, to 8344.25. Investors took some comfort from government officials’ plans to help offset an anticipated slowdown in economic activity due to the coronavirus epidemic: White House officials are considering potential measures including a payroll-tax cut and help for hourly wage earners, while Japan’s government unveiled a multibillion-dollar plan to help businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus.

“Coronavirus cases in the United States approach 1,000 as officials continue to call off large gatherings” by CNN’s Jason Hanna, Madeline Holcombe, and Steve Almasy – As the number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States approached 1,000 on Tuesday, officials further clamped down on large public gatherings and increasingly called for students to take classes online. People need to be prepared for some major changes in their lives, one federal official said. “We would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can’t be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a state that has no cases or one case,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Since the pandemic began in the United States, at least 975 cases have been reported. A total of 30 people have died — 24 in Washington state, two in Florida, two in California and new deaths reported Tuesday by New Jersey and South Dakota. The advisories to limit public interaction have caused politicians to cancel or shift campaign rallies, educators to close school districts or tell college students to take classes online, and television shows and sports teams to recognize they may have to go without audiences for a while. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has even taken the step of declaring a 1-mile “containment” area around a section of New Rochelle where cases are concentrated. He’s also sending in the National Guard to deliver food to homes and to help clean public spaces. The New York City suburb is where a man who lives in the community tested positive for the virus last week, as did his wife, son and daughter. The containment area extends out from his synagogue, officials said.

“DNC to Hold Phoenix Presidential Debate With No Audience” by Wall Street Journal’s Emily Glazer – The Democratic National Committee said it would have no live audience at Sunday’s presidential debate in Phoenix, in response to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. “The DNC has been in regular communication with local health officials and the Mayor’s office, which advised that we could proceed as planned,” DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “Nevertheless, our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate.” Across the U.S., efforts to contain the novel coronavirus have escalated. The U.S. had 808 confirmed cases as of Tuesday evening, including six in Arizona, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Several large gatherings, including business conferences, music festivals and sporting events, have been canceled due to concerns about the spread of the virus. The 11th Democratic debate on Sunday features a head-to-head match-up of former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the two top candidates remaining in the hunt for the Democratic nomination. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is still in the race, didn’t qualify for the upcoming debate under the latest set of rules. Mr. Biden holds the delegate lead as of Tuesday with 670, followed by Mr. Sanders with 575, according to The Wall Street Journal’s delegate tracker. CNN and Univision will air the debate. The DNC also partnered with CHC Bold, the political-action committee associated with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in an effort to engage Latino voters. The debate is expected to take place just days before the Arizona Democratic primary on March 17, when Florida, Illinois and Ohio will also hold their contests.

“Biden Aide To Sanders Supporters: ‘We Would Love To Have You’” by NPR’s Maya Gandhi – Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign welcomes Bernie Sanders supporters with open arms, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, told NPR. After another night of victories for Biden — Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi have been called for him so far — Bedingfield stressed unity among Democratic voters, extending an olive branch to Sanders supporters. “I think there is more commonality between us than there are divisions, and we’d absolutely welcome them to our movement,” Bedingfield said. “Anybody who wants to beat Donald Trump, come on over to the Biden campaign. We would love to have you.” Bedingfield argued that tonight’s results underscore Biden’s coalition-building capacity. “I think you saw Joe Biden building the coalition of voters that we have to turn out in order to beat Donald Trump in November,” Bedingfield said. She also cited record turnout in some of today’s contests. Bedingfield said, “Democrats have decided that Joe Biden is the guy that they want in the White House and that they believe can beat Donald Trump.” But she did not go so far as to urge the end of the primary process, as Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., did earlier tonight.

“Dozens in Iran die from drinking bootleg alcohol to prevent coronavirus infection: reports” by Fox News’ Danielle Wallace – Dozens of people in Iran died after drinking industrial-strength alcohol amid rumors it would prevent them from contracting the coronavirus, according to reports Tuesday. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA, reported Tuesday that 44 people had died from alcohol poisoning in the country after they “drank bootleg alcohol over rumors that it would be effective in treating coronavirus.” But the semi-independent Mehr News Agency reported a lower figure – at least 27 people dying in Iran from alcohol poisoning amid the coronavirus scare. Drinking, selling or buying alcohol has been outlawed in Iran for all citizens, except for some non-Muslim minorities, since the establishment of the Islamic Republic government in 1979. People reportedly were drinking bootleg alcohol made from methanol, which is found in antifreeze, solvent and fuel, in a failed attempt to prevent infection. That kind is far more toxic than ethanol, the kind of alcohol safe to drink. More than two hundred people were hospitalized in the southwestern province of Khuzestan after drinking bootleg alcohol, Ali Ehsanpour, a spokesman for Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences, told Mehr News Agency, according to ABC News. Most of the deaths from alcohol poisoning occurred in this region, IRNA reported, according to CBS News. Meanwhile, 18 people died after becoming ill with the actual COVID-19 virus in the same Khuzestan province. Additional alcohol poisoning deaths.


President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – Pocahontas, working in conjunction with the Democrat Party, totally destroyed the campaign of Bernie Sanders. If she would have quit 3 days earlier, Sanders would have beaten Biden in a route, it wouldn’t even have been close. They also got two other losers to support Sleepy Joe!

Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi –Medicare & Medicaid form the bedrock of health care for millions of Americans. We can’t let the President get away with tearing away their coverage

Marco Rubio @marcorubio – At yesterday’s lunch I asked @POTUS to support our efforts to invest in diversifying our supply chain, especially in pharmaceuticals & medical equipment.

He agreed & his team led by by Peter Navarro are also working on an EO to help address this.

Rick Scott @SenRickScott – This is what murderous dictators like @NicolasMaduro

do. They resort to violence and oppression. Only cowards govern through violence.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – Women & girls make up 1 in 4 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, impacting Hispanic & African American women disproportionately. And in Miami-Dade, HIV/AIDS diagnoses are on the rise. It’s on all of us to spread awareness, #EndTheStigma & support women & girls living with HIV/AIDS #NWGHAAD

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – What a SuperTuesday2 for #TeamBiden@JoeBiden‘s diverse coalition keeps turning out, and it’s just what Democrats need to take back the White House. Florida, let’s unite behind the #BidenSurge and keep the #Joementum going.

Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz – I’ve just been informed that my COVID-19 lab result was negative. In an abundance of caution, I will remain under self-quarantine at the advice of medical professionals through Thursday at 2pm. I continue to feel fine and show no symptoms.

Gus Bilirakis @RepGusBilirakis – Sadly, there are bad actors who are looking to exploit public fears over Coronavirus. While you should make sure you are staying informed of new CDC recommendations, make sure your info comes from reliable sources.

Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel -Nearly 58 MILLION people in America have been unable to pay for a prescription medicine at least once in the last 12 months. Congress must #LowerDrugCosts by passing H.R. 3 into law!

Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy – Remember to follow these basic steps to protect yourself from #coronavirus. Stay up-to-date with the latest recommendations by visiting the @cdcgov’s website. #FlaPol #FL07 #COVID19

 

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Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning South Florida-based political journalist owns Diverse New Media, Corp. which publishes Floridianpress.com, Judicialpost.com, shark-tank.com, and Hispolitica.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]

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