It’s All Ron’s Fault…
When you are the governor of any state, especially a swing state like Florida, you can never do anything that will please your detractors.
This is the case with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Forget about all the things he has done to keep Floridians safe as this nasty COVID-19 spreads across the state. His foes (both Democrats and the media, in particular, those Weight Watcher dropouts in the Tampa Bay area) only focus on what they think he should be doing, or what they feel he isn’t doing.
DeSantis can’t even talk about reopening the state READ MORE, but other Democratic governors can without feeling any backlash from their party and the press.
And what about those death toll discrepancies? Well, it’s all Ron’s fault. READ MORE
Now if DeSantis was a Democrat, well, things would be a whole lot different.
DeSantis would then be hailed as a savior of sorts, and compared to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo as being the go-to Coronavirus governors.
You can bet on that.
Wait, where are all the news stories about Democratic AG Commissioner Nikki Fried violating the stay-at-home order she had been begging DeSantis to put in place?
Que!? What!? READ MORE
The Florida Trail
With the COVID-19 virus crippling fundraising efforts across the board, today could be a make or break day as many congressional candidates report their cash totals. The contested GOP congressional race in CD 19 is front-and-center.
Who will be atop the cash list?
Dr. William Figlesthaler? Rep. Byron Donalds? Rep. Dane Eagle? Casey Askar?
The numbers are flattening?
Here is a snapshot of the most up-to-date numbers from the Florida Dept. of Health:
Visit The Floridian
Who is NOT going to agree with this? >>> Trump defunds World Health Organization
She finally makes a good point >>> Ocasio-Cortez: ‘It’s Legitimate To Talk About’ Sexual Assault Allegation Against Biden
Where’s my cash? >> Millions of Americans Were Left Out in Stimulus Package
It’s Ron Fault, right? >>> Coronavirus death tolls in Broward & Miami-Dade don’t match state numbers
“Northeastern Governors Form Regional Task Force to Reopen States Economies” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Six states in the Northeast are working together to form a regional coordinated plan that would allow businesses to reopen their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Calling the council the “Covid corridor,” the effort led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo includes five other Democratic Governors Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, John Carney of Delaware and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island. On the conference call Monday, the six governors said they will name a public health official and an economic official from each state to “form a working group that will start work immediately on designing a reopening plan,” while taking into consideration “the public health concerns and issues and the economic reactivation issues and concerns.” The chief of staff from each respective governor will also take part of the group. “Each state is going to name a public health official for that state, an economic development official for that state,” Cuomo said leading the conference call Monday afternoon.
“Bernie Sanders Endorses Joe Biden For President” by Mona Salama – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid on Monday, five days after suspending his own campaign for the Democratic Party nomination. “We have to make Trump a one-term president and we need you in the White House,” Sanders said on a livestream video with Biden on Monday. “Today, I am asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse, to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe, and I’m speaking just for myself now, is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.” He added: “We’ve got to make Trump a one-term president and we need you in the White House. So I will do all that I can to see that that happens.” Sanders hinted his intentions of endorsing the presumptive Democratic nominee in a Twitter post shortly before appearing on Biden’s livestream.
“Nikki Fried hypocritically violates stay-at-home order” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Nikki Fried (D), Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is receiving some criticism over a Tallahassee Democrat report that she traveled to Atlanta over the Easter Weekend and appeared on MSNBC Friday Night. This comes after a stay-at-home-order was placed on the state, an order she has been pressing upon Floridians. I guess this order only applies to everyone else but Fried, who used her appearance on the network to continue her criticism of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). After it was revealed that she had traveled over the weekend to Atlanta, Franco Ripple, the Commissioner’s Communications Director, commented on Twitter that she was in Atlanta to “pick up her stepkids from their mom.” Franco explained that this is “something millions of families are going through with parental time-sharing during this pandemic (not to mention the religious holiday weekend.” This may have very well been the case, but then why did she feel compelled to go on MSNBC and expose herself and her family to infection?
“Media pins use of Malaria drug against COVID-19 in Texas on GOP” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – A Texas doctor is under scrutiny for apparently administering hydroxychloroquine to combat the COVID-19 virus to his patients without notifying their families. Dr. Robin Armstrong, the medical director at The Resort at Texas City nursing home says that infected patients who got the drug are “actually doing well” and are “getting better” according to NPR who first reported the story. A total of 87 patients at The Resort have tested positive for the virus— 56 of 135 residents as well as 31 staffers with only one death to report. Of those patients, 39 are receiving the controversial medication. All are apparently doing better. Why is hydroxychloroquine so controversial? Could it be because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the drug to treat COVID-19? Maybe. But in looking at how the reporting of the nursing home treatment of its patients with the Malaria drug, one would think that the controversy is centered around politics. President Donald Trump has called the drug a “game-changer” and continues to tout its use against the Coronavirus.
“Coronavirus peak shifts again in Florida: Report” by CBS 12’s Gary Detman – A model estimating when Florida will see its peak from COVID-19 is shifting again. According to our partners at the Sun Sentinel, the deadliest day moved to May 6, with a projection of 128 deaths from coronavirus on that day. Initially, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine predicted the peak date to be May 3 for the number of deaths. Florida has 499 confirmed deaths from coronavirus as of Monday evening. More than 200,000 COVID-19 tests have been given, with more than 177,000 coming back negative. Just over 10 percent of those tested, or twenty-one thousand, came back positive for coronavirus. It’s the third time the peak has shifted in Florida. Last week the model showed April 21 as the peak date.
“Watch: Florida General exits coronavirus meeting after stunning statement” by WBDO’s Shanna Vicker – Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees suggested that Floridians will need to keep their distance and wear face masks for up to a year or until a COVID-19 vaccine is created. That statement came Monday during a coronavirus meeting at the state capital, minutes later Rivkees was whisked away by the governor’s spokeswoman. Prior to his quick departure, Rivkees told reporters that Floridians needed to get used to current precautions, such as avoiding crowds of 10 or more and wearing face masks in public. His comments were shared on twitter. A spokesperson for the Surgeon General said Rivkees had to leave to attend another pre-scheduled meeting but did not say how Rivkees reached his conclusion on social distancing or whether the governor agreed with it. The Governor’s office has not commented on the circumstances of the meeting.
“Growing hemp is a new option for struggling Florida farmers. Licenses go online soon.” By Miami Herald’s Samantha J. Gross – During a time of historic economic disruption and agricultural turmoil in Florida due to the novel coronavirus, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says there’s a newer, greener reason for farmers to be hopeful. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is poised to green-light Florida’s hemp program as early as this week, clearing the way for farmers to apply for cultivation licenses and for other hemp-adjacent businesses to get involved in processing and selling the product. “Our state needs hope, and this is some of that hope,” she told the Miami Herald Monday. The Florida Department of Agriculture has been sending draft hemp rules back and forth with USDA for months, making final tweaks and incorporating feedback from public comment periods. The final plan was submitted to the USDA last Thursday and will be approved any day now. “They are excited to have our rule and give us the green light,” said Fried, whose office has been working closely with the federal agency. Fried and Cannabis Director Holly Bell say they hope to see applications come online by April 27, opening up opportunities to all Floridians.
“Florida to aggressively test nursing home patients, staff” by Associated Press – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday the state will more aggressively inspect nursing homes to detect patients and staff who are infected with the coronavirus while officials said it appears the disease’s expansion in the state may be reaching a plateau. DeSantis said he has ordered the Florida National Guard to create 10 teams that will visit long-term care facilities to test employees and residents for the virus, with a focus on hard-hit Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. They will supplement 30 paramedics who have already been conducting such tests. DeSantis said the virus has caused known infections at 94 of the state’s 4,000 homes. In Clay County, in the Jacksonville area, 49 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, and 51 cases among residents and staff have been reported at a nursing home in Suwannee County, located halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Statewide, there were almost 840 coronavirus cases in residents and staff at long-term care facilities, as of Saturday.
“AAA: Florida Gas Prices Fall Another Six Cents, Brevard County Drivers Paying $1.91 at the Pump” by Space Coast Daily – How much lower gas prices go will depend on how the market responds to a historic deal made by OPEC and its oil-producing allies over the weekend. On Sunday, OPEC and its allies agreed to cut oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day – the single largest output cut in history. This effectively ends a price war that broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which caused an overnight 25% reduction in oil prices last month. From there, the downward trend continued as the effects of the coronavirus impacted the global economy and forced Americans to stay off the road. In total, oil prices are down 56 percent since February 21. During that time, the price of crude plummeted from $53 per barrel to $23/b. Florida gas prices also dropped 56 cents. This deal is an attempt to help eliminate supply surpluses and strengthen the price of crude.
“Florida colleges will collect tens of millions in federal aid” by Tampa Bay Times’ Megan Reeves – As the federal government doles out stimulus funding to keep society moving through the coronavirus pandemic, many Florida colleges and universities will collect millions or tens of millions each. Half of the money each institution receives must go directly to students in the form of emergency cash grants, which will help them afford “expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the COVID-10 outbreak,” according to a U.S. Department of Education news release. Institutions can use the remaining money to “cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus,” the release said. However, officials from multiple Florida schools said they are awaiting guidance from state and federal leaders on what that means. “These are unprecedented and challenging times for your students and for you,” U.S. education secretary Betsy DeVos wrote in a letter to college and university presidents to announce the funding.
“Florida chief on leave for alleged remarks on gay cop’s coronavirus death” by ABC News’ Tim Fitzsimons – Davie police Chief Dale Engle has been placed on administrative leave after officers at his Florida station filed a union complaint alleging that he dismissed their concerns about coronavirus protection measures and blamed the COVID-19 fatality of a Broward County deputy sheriff on his sexuality. On April 7, amid a coronavirus outbreak at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, police officers in Davie — a town in the county — attempted to raise concerns with Engle about their risk of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. In response to the officers’ concerns, Engle allegedly ordered them to stand in formation for inspection and berated them for raising the health issue, according to a complaint filed by the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FLFOP).
“Florida AG warns of scams with stimulus money” by News Service of Florida – Attorney General Ashley Moody warned Floridians to be alert for scams as the federal government begins sending out money as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus economic-stimulus package. “Anytime money is being doled out by the government, scammers will devise schemes to steal as much of it as possible,” Moody said in a video. The first checks to Americans who qualify — up to $1,200 for eligible individuals or $2,400 for people married and filing taxes jointly — are being directly deposited into bank accounts of tax filers who have submitted bank information to the Internal Revenue Service. “#IRS deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts today. We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can,” the IRS tweeted Saturday. Moody advised people to learn when they could receive payments and to be suspicious of anyone requesting personal information in exchange for expedited payments.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says process of unifying party behind Biden should be ‘uncomfortable for everyone’” by CNN’s Devan Cole and Jessica Dean – New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez signaled in an interview published Monday that she will support Joe Biden’s presidential bid in November but said that the process of uniting the party behind his campaign should be “uncomfortable for everyone involved.” “And if Biden is only doing things he’s comfortable with, then it’s not enough,” the freshman congresswoman told The New York Times. Ocasio-Cortez had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid in October, but the Vermont independent dropped out of the race last week, clearing the way for Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination. The New York Democrat told the Times that Biden’s campaign has yet to reach out to her and that his outreach to Sanders’ supporters and the more progressive wing of the party must go further. It’s up to Biden how enthusiastic her support will be, Ocasio-Cortez told the paper.
“There are legal concerns from coronavirus in business reopenings” by Fox Business’ Ken Martin – There are legal concerns surrounding opening up the country and sending people back to work. Businesses face the possibility of being sued by customers or employees who may be exposed to coronavirus, according to Bloomberg. That is the warning from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The lobbying group said in a letter, policymakers should consider giving protection to businesses that follow federal, state or local health guidelines. The lawsuits would include negligence and public nuisance claims, could threaten the survival of some businesses. Although, proving exactly where the virus was picked up could be difficult. The chamber suggested requiring some claims to be brought in federal court instead of state courts.
“Global Coronavirus Infections Near Two Million; U.S. Governors Plan for Reopening” by WSJ’s Lucy Craymer and Matthew Dalton – As the growth rate of known coronavirus infections slows in the U.S. and other hard-hit countries, governments are exploring how to relax pandemic-fighting restrictions while others extend them fearing a resurgence in cases. Confirmed cases world-wide of the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus passed 1.93 million on Tuesday, more than a quarter of them in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll, led by the U.S., exceeded 120,000. In the 24 hours that ended at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, 1,584 people in the U.S. died from the coronavirus and 26,366 new cases were confirmed, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. That was down slightly from daily highs of more than 2,100 and 35,000, respectively, last week. Two groups of American governors said they are starting to look at how to gradually reopen businesses and ease guidelines on social distancing, even as President Trump said he had the ultimate authority over when to restart the economy.
“Live from the Supreme Court: It’s oral arguments as they happen for the first time ever” by CNN’s Joan Biskupic – The Supreme Court’s announcement on Monday that it would livestream oral arguments in 10 cases next month, including three centered on President Donald Trump’s financial records, is a historic breakthrough in public access to America’s highest court. The decision to make their teleconference arguments public brings some immediate transparency to an insular institution that has long prided itself on resisting technology and live broadcasts of any kind. It is, to be certain, a limited move. There will be no video pictures of the black-robed nine as they question lawyers in cases, and the court is allowing access to real-time arguments only for special May sittings during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The courtroom is a very special place,” Chief Justice John Roberts has asserted. “Maybe part of what makes it special is that you don’t see it on television.” Oral arguments in Bush v. Gore, which decided the 2000 presidential election, were not broadcast live. Neither were oral arguments over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” same-sex marriage or abortion rights controversies. Only those who waited in line for a seat in the courtroom could attend and follow in real time. For some cases, the justices made an audio recording available later in the day.
“Fauci needs to ‘move along’ so US may open economy again, US rep says” by Fox News’ Jack Durschlag – A House Republican said in an interview Monday that infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci needs to “move along” because he has kept America’s economy bottled up for too long and isn’t considering the economic impact of continued quarantines, a report said. Rep. Andy Biggs, a Republican member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said Fauci has helped with coronavirus pandemic management, but economic suffering must also be taken into account, the Arizona Republic reported. “I think it’s time … for Dr. Fauci to move along,” Biggs said in the KFYI-AM interview. “I mean, he shouldn’t have a seat at the table. He shouldn’t be making decisions that are basically impacting this country in a way that we haven’t even considered. “I mean, he has said he has not considered economic or societal or social fallout for his remedy for the epidemic. And if that’s the case, I think he gets some credit for where we stand today, but I think it’s time for him to move on.”
“Negotiations Over New Coronavirus Aid Stall” by WSJ’s Kristina Peterson and Andrew Duehren – Congressional leaders and the White House stalled in efforts to break an impasse over the size and shape of the next package of aid responding to the coronavirus pandemic, according to aides, while the outbreak forced another delay in Congress’s return to Washington. Both parties want to add $250 billion to a popular fund for small-business loans, which the administration estimates will run out of money on Friday. Democratic leaders and President Trump have sounded hopeful about reaching a deal this week, but had little progress to report on Monday. Meanwhile, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said Monday that the House wouldn’t reconvene until May 4, several weeks after the original planned date of return, due to the coronavirus. Lawmakers could return sooner, should they be needed to assemble a quorum to pass legislation related to the government’s response to the pandemic, Mr. Hoyer’s office said. The House had originally been expected to return on April 20.
“Pentagon awards $415 million contract for units to decontaminate N95 masks” by CNN’s Ryan Browne – The Pentagon announced a major contract for 60 decontamination units that will allow millions of N95 masks to be reused amid a shortage of personal protective equipment for medical professionals treating coronavirus patients. The $415 million contract will allow for the acquisition of “60 Battelle Memorial Institute Critical Care Decontamination Systems (CCDS), that can decontaminate up to 80,000 used N95 respirators per system per day, enabling mask reuse up to 20 times,” according to a statement from the Pentagon. The Defense Department said six units have already been delivered to multiple US cities including two to New York, and one each to Columbus, Ohio, Boston, Chicago and Tacoma, “providing the ability to sterilize 3.4 million masks a week, reducing the need for new masks by the same number.” “All 60 systems will be available by early May for prioritization and distribution by FEMA and HHS. Once all are delivered, these 60 units will allow 4.8 million masks to be sterilized per day, almost 34 million per week,” the statement added. Where the remaining units will be delivered has yet to be determined. The shortage of N95 masks has been a major focus of Defense Department efforts.
“Stock futures rise ahead of bank earnings” by Fox Business’ Ken Martin – U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open as the nation’s biggest banks kickoff earnings season. The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 1.3 percent or about 300 Dow points when trading begins on Tuesday. Wall Street began the week with the S&P 500 losing 1 percent after cutting early losses by more than half toward the end of the day. The benchmark index surged 12 percent last week, its best gain since 1974. The S&P lost 28.19 points to 2,761.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4 percent. The Nasdaq rose 0.5 percent. China’s exports fell 6.6 percent in March from a year earlier, while imports shrank 0.9 percent, a better than expected outcome as factories restarted production, though the global coronavirus health crisis looks set to keep trade under pressure over coming months. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 3.1 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.6 percent. In Europe, London’s FTSE slipped 0.5 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 1 percent and France’s CAC added 0.1 percent.
“Sailor From USS Theodore Roosevelt Dies From Covid-19” by WSJ’s Nancy A. Youssef and Ben Kesling – A U.S. sailor from the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been stricken with the largest novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. military, died Monday from complications of the virus, the Navy said. The name of the sailor, a chief petty officer in his 40s who was the first aboard the aircraft carrier to die from the virus, is being withheld until relatives are notified, the Navy said. No other information about the crew member was released. Four other Roosevelt crew members have been hospitalized, among at least 585 from the aircraft carrier who have tested positive for Covid-19. Across the U.S. military, 2.567 service members had tested positive for Covid-19 as of Monday. The crew member who died had been diagnosed March 30 with the virus and placed in an isolation room at the U.S. naval base in Guam, where the ship has been docked since March 27. On April 9, during one of two daily checks, the sailor was found unresponsive and was administered CPR before he was moved to intensive care at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam, the Navy said.
“Taiwan releases December email to WHO showing unheeded warning about coronavirus” by Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran – The World Health Organization is under fire after Taiwan released the contents of a December email inquiring about the person -to-person spread of COVID-19, which it says was ignored by the organization and further denied to provide adequate information about how to fight the virus. Taiwan is accusing the WHO of downplaying the severity and spread of the coronavirus in an attempt to pander to China, even after Taiwan sounded the alarm about at least seven cases of atypical pneumonia that they were aware of in Wuhan, where the virus originated. When asked about the cases by the media, Taiwan said China’s health authorities said, “The cases were believed not SARS; however samples are still under examination, and cases have been isolated for treatment,” according to the contents of an email sent by Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention to the WHO on Dec. 31. “I would greatly appreciate it if you have relevant information to share with us,” the email said. Taiwan is located about 80 miles off China’s coast but has declared itself an independent nation for over 70 years. China, however, has refused to acknowledge Taiwan’s sovereignty and consistently fights to bring it back under Beijing’s control.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump –My Administration is committed to protecting the Homeland from the scourge of narco-terrorists and traffickers seeking to destabilize the United States and our Hemisphere. Our military deployments in the Caribbean & Eastern Pacific will endure until these threats are neutralized!
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi – Now more than ever, we need the truth. And the truth is that Donald Trump dismantled the infrastructure handed to him which was meant to plan for and overcome a pandemic, resulting in unnecessary deaths and economic disaster.
Coronavirus this, Coronavirus that…