Gov. Ron DeSantis is preparing to open up the state of Florida, but according to Florida Chamber of Commerce President Mark Wilson, if the state is to open, DeSantis needs to be precise. READ MORE
This is going to happen.
FUNNY >>> “Do as I say, not as I do”—Florida Democrats call for DeSantis to “rise above politics” during the Coronavirus pandemic just as they politicize the ask.
“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis named the Reopen Florida Task Force to study reopening the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic — the list was an expected cadre of donors and DeSantis loyalists, it also had a notable absence. Commissioner Nikki Fried oversees policy for the 2nd largest economy in the state and is the only Democratic statewide elected official — and the governor omitted her from participating in the task force.
“Governor DeSantis included the usual suspects of campaign donors and DeSantis loyalists on his task force, but he deliberately overlooked the only statewide Democratic elected official and cabinet member. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried oversees the second largest economic driver in the state and she should have a seat at the table on any task force that has a role in shoring up our economy and re-opening the state.” – Terry Rizzo, FL Dems Chairwoman
Maybe Fried was excluded because she uses every opportunity to go after DeSantis?
– A Miami Herald columnist just made the case for why mainstream media outlets are referred to as FAKE NEWS. Even you believe this, you never put it black and white. What a dummy. READ MORE
– A newly released internal campaign poll shows that businessman Judson Sapp leading the large field of Republican candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Ted Yoho (R). READ MORE
Miami-Dade politicians Esteban Bovo and Rene Garcia campaign COVID-19 during stay-at-home order, but not really. READ MORE
The numbers are flattening?
Here is a snapshot of the most up-to-date numbers from the Florida Dept. of Health:
Visit The Floridian
“Rene Garcia hits pavement to help out during COVID-19” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With the Cities of Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens having the second-largest amount of cases of COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County, it is virtually all-hands-on-deck for elected officials in those two heavy Cuban-American voting cities. County Commissioner Esteban “Stevie” Bovo, who is also running for mayor of Miami-Dade County, has been out delivering food to the elderly and keeping constituents apprised on social media on about the spreading virus. Bovo’s friend and political ally, former state Senator Rene Garcia, who just so happens to be running for Bovo’s county commission seat, has also been hitting the pavement in Hialeah and helped open the drive-up COVID-19 testing site at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. Garcia is like a walking Public Service Announcement (PSA). Here are the latest COVID-19 infection numbers in Florida…
“Trump to Temporarily Suspend Immigration Into U.S. Via Executive Order” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump tweeted Monday night that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States, as the nation battles the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Citing “the attack from the Invisible Enemy” of the coronavirus, Trump said he would carry out the directive by an executive order to “ protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.” “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens,” Trump tweeted. “I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” The temporary suspension of all immigration would be part of an extension on the travel restrictions the Trump administration has already imposed in February on most of nations considered a hotspots, including most of European nations and China to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Sapp Leads in new Survey” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – American Analytics announced the results of a public opinion survey in Florida’s hotly contested 3rdcongressional district. The responses, gathered between March 16th and March 17th, indicate that Republican Judson Sapp is in the lead. Sapp is vying for the congressional seat that is currently held by Florida Rep. Ted Yoho (R) who announced that he would not be running for re-election after serving in the Florida House since 2013. Sapp leads the Republican crowd with %15.78 support, attracting the most support from those under 60 with %18.68. As well, of those questioned for the survey, %89.57 had a favorable view of President Donald Trump. As Democrats look to gain seats in the 2020 Presidential election while also gain states for their electoral college votes, the seat that Yoho is leaving behind is a seat that Democrats will be making a push for. Florida is a battleground state, and Sapp has made it clear that he is a supporter of the president.
“DeSantis prepares to surgically open Florida’s economy” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With Georgia and Tennessee having announced they would be opening up their respective state economies in the next 10 days, it was only a matter of time before Florida moved to open its all-but unraveled economy. How is Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) going to reopen the state’s economy without running the risk of opening up shop too early, which could lead to more infections and deaths, or too late, which could spell economic collapse? Very carefully. “We need to get the economy back in a safe way,” DeSantis said, and “give people [the] confidence they’re going to be able to participate in the economy.” Actually, the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s President Mark Wilson said it best,” “Reopening Florida’s economy needs to be surgical.” A gradual approach to opening up some aspects of the state’s economy appears to be the consensus among DeSantis Re-Open Florida Task Force, which convened for the first time on Monday.
“Ocasio-Cortez Praises Oil Price Crash in Now-Deleted Tweet: ‘You Absolutely Love to See It’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was in rejoiced over news that the oil market prices turning negative for the first time in history amid the coronavirus pandemic, writing “You absolutely love to see it” in a tweet that she quickly deleted on Monday. In response to news about oil prices falling to “negative values,” a tweet from Brandon Smith read, “Oil prices now at ‘negative values,’ meaning oil producers have to pay people to take it off their hands and store it because when demand plunges (like now), that is less expensive for them than building more storage and/or shutting wells down.” “You absolutely love to see it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to her 6.7 million followers. “This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough.*” The progressive freshman quickly deleted the tweet after it prompted criticism that she is celebrating the market turmoil and the possibility of further job losses as more than 22 million Americans are already out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ocasio-Cortez replaced the deleted tweet with a series of tweets that made the same arguments without the sentence “You absolutely love to see it.”
“Mucarsel-Powell says COVID-19 funding bill is wasteful spending free” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – During her weekly Zoom press conference with members of the media, elected officials and professionals in the healthcare industry, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (R) said that she believed that “any” public spaces like beaches and parks should not be hastily reopened before significant reductions in COVID-19 cases and deaths occurred. During the Q & A portion of the teleconference, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell was asked if she would like to see the current supplemental funding bill being discussed in Washington be a “clean bill,” and not a bill like the CARES Act that saw non-Coronavirus related programs funded. The CARES Act was held up when House Democrats saddled the bill with a “wish list” of programs. Not all of these non-essential programs made it through, but several did. “Everything that’s included in that bill currently is specifically related to the effects of COVID-19, it includes $319 billion to provide PPP and emergency disaster loans, we have also included that $25 billion for testing,” stated Mucarsel-Powell.
“Miami-Herald Reporter Wishes COVID-19 Death on Republican Voters” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – A Miami Herald reporter is facing criticism today after tweeting and then deleting comments regarding the coronavirus killing Republican voters. In a tweet posted over the weekend, Fabiola Santiago, a columnist for the Miami Herald, wrote that “packed beaches should work nicely to thin the ranks of Trump/DeSantis/Gimenez supporters in #Florida who value money over wealth.” The tweet was shortly deleted, but the internet is written in pen. In response to the words from Santiago, Trump Victory Spokesperson Emma Vaughn commented that “as if constant bias wasn’t enough, the liberal media is now openly wishing for illness and death of supporters of President Trump.” She added that “this deeply inappropriate statement – which the Miami Herald should fully condemn – encapsulates why trust in the American media is at an all-time low.”
“Republican Crenshaw Calls out COVID-19 “Misinformation”” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Over the weekend, President Trump shared a video on Twitter from Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R), which explains what the Republican lawmaker believes is misinformation being shared by the mainstream media regarding President Trump and his response to the growing threat of the coronavirus. This comes at a time when the President has been involved in a contention relationship with media outlets, and the relationship has only become increasingly more hostile. In the video, the Texas lawmaker tells viewers that they’re “being bombarded right now with these really over-the-top accusations against the President. That he’s got blood on his hands, that his denial and delay has cost lives, and that basically he took no action until it was too late.” As well, Rep. Crenshaw was also a guest on the Bill Maher Show wherein he took part in a discussion regarding the Trump Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Maher, criticizing the President’s handling of the pandemic, shared that he was shocked that the Republican lawmaker would be defending the President. Maher added that the President was simply deflecting from assuming responsibility over allowing the pandemic to reach the negative heights that it has reached.
“Florida unemployment office promises transparency, efficiency” by Fox 13 Tampa Bay’s Haley Hinds – The headaches of navigating Florida’s unemployment system and website have only added stress for those out of work. But a new leader in charge of the system is promising complete transparency and efficiency. One way they’re doing it is by posting numbers on an online dashboard, letting people know daily, how many claims have been submitted, verified, processed and paid. A few who are still waiting to see if they’ll get unemployment assistance drove to Tallahassee Monday to remind state leaders that they need help. The group was small but outside the Florida State Capitol, they stood for hundreds of thousands. “I don’t think Florida wants to pay unemployment. I just don’t think they do,” said Kim Donley, who drove up from Zephyrhills. Donley and Kelly Johnson of Dunedin helped organize Monday’s “Tallahassee Stand For Your Unemployment Benefits” event, protesting the state’s slow and shaky handling of claims, after the coronavirus outbreak left many out of work. Some stood on the sidewalk, others drive around with signs taped to cars.
“Florida among slowest states to process unemployment claims” by Bobby Caina Calvan, AP – Federal data suggests that Florida has processed its hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims more slowly than any other state. U.S. Department of Labor figures show Florida at the bottom among all 50 states and the District Columbia in the percentage of the unemployed it is serving, lagging behind states big and small. Nearly 7 of every 8 Floridians who managed to file claims during the three weeks from mid-March until early April were waiting to have them processed. The state is already among the most inhospitable places to be unemployed, and the economic downturn from the coronavirus outbreak has only added to the misery.
“Florida National Guard responding to local VA nursing home coronavirus case” by My Panhandle – Management at Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home was notified on Saturday by the Bay County Health Department that one of their employees tested positive for the coronavirus. “That individual is now on a 14 day isolation,” said Florida Department of Veteran Affairs Spokesperson Steve Murray. The home has had about 25 tests to date so far, and this was the first positive test. “Our home administrator has been alerting families, friends and staff members of what has been going on,” Murray said. But Sims and other state veteran nursing homes are receiving some help this week from the Florida National Guard. They are expected to start testing all residents and staff at Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home on Tuesday and Wednesday. “We think this is an excellent opportunity, with the availability of really hard to find tests, for the Florida National Guard to come in and be able to take a look at all of our residents and staff,” Murray said. After testing is completed, it will take about 48 to 72 hours to receive all of the testing results. They planned to keep family members as informed as possible.
“Florida starts thinking about how to reopen the state and overcome coronavirus ‘psychology of fear’” by Sun Sentinel’s Anthony Man, Lisa J. Huriash and Gray Rohrer – From South Florida to Tallahassee, the state’s business, political and public health leaders began talking Monday about reopening the state. But no one offered any firm ideas for when that might happen or how to safely reach that goal. The Republican-dominated executive committee of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force held its first meeting and heard chilling economic and unemployment projections from the Florida State Chamber of Commerce. The task force’s mission is to balance the need to get the state open as soon as possible to alleviate the economic catastrophe caused by the coronavirus — but doing it in a way that doesn’t jeopardize public health by moving too fast, especially in South Florida, which is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the state. “We need to get the economy back in a safe way,” DeSantis said, and “give people [the] confidence they’re going to be able to participate in the economy.” The governor said a rush would be a disaster for public health and the economy if a rushed re-opening meant asymptomatic workers could be back on the job, say at a hotel in the tourist-dependent state, and turned out to be spreading the virus. Data on coronavirus antibodies would go a long way to solving that potential problem, DeSantis said.
“Bipartisan breakthrough? Pols unveil ‘Back to Work’ plan for reopening economy with emphasis on mass testing” by Fox News’ Marisa Schultz – After spending weeks diving into coronavirus issues over video conferencing, a bipartisan group of 50 House members has crafted a plan for what’s needed to reopen the economy safely and help businesses recover from crippling mandatory shutdowns. Fox News got an exclusive first look at the Problem Solvers Caucus plan that outlines specific public health, economic recovery and long-term stimulus plans the group wants Congress and President Trump to embrace as the nation tries to emerge from weekslong quarantines and growing mass layoffs. “The bottom line is people I think are eager for a checklist. They want to understand what we think it takes to get everything moving again,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, told Fox News. The Problem Solvers Caucus on Monday will unveil publicly its “Back to Work” checklist that is poised to be an influential framework in Washington in future rounds of coronavirus relief packages. The plan got the green light from the group of pragmatic lawmakers determined to deliver Americans some relief.
“Supreme Court set to release spring opinions during coronavirus pandemic” by CNN’s Ariane de Vogue – t’s spring time at the Supreme Court which normally means the justices are just finishing oral arguments and hunkering down to release all outstanding opinions by their self imposed end-of-June deadline. But there has been nothing normal about this term. It jolted to a start in October just weeks after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced she had been treated for a fourth bout of cancer. By January, Ginsburg said she was “cancer free,” but Chief Justice John Roberts was called over to the Senate to preside over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. As the justices were getting back into the groove in March, Covid-19 struck, closing the court house doors to the public and forcing the justices to postpone arguments. Now, as early as Monday, the justices are preparing to release a backlog of opinions in cases concerning LGBTQ rights, DACA, the Second Amendment and abortion. But the pandemic has prompted them to do something they’ve never done before: they will hear 10 cases in May — including Trump’s bid to shield his financial documents — by telephone. And the public is allowed to listen in.
“U.S. Stock Futures Slip as Volatility Edges Higher” by WSJ’s Anna Isaac, Joe Wallace and Chong Koh Ping – U.S. stock futures slid Monday, signaling the start to a potentially volatile week in markets as investors remain at odds on the extent of the economic damage stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and how quickly businesses will recover. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.7%. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 ticked down 0.5%, while major Asian indexes ended the day mixed. Bets against the stock market’s rally have climbed in recent weeks, with short sellers taking their most aggressive positions in years against the SPDR S&P 500 Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking the broad index, according to financial analytics company S3 Partners. A sharp rebound in the Dow and the S&P 500 in recent weeks has left some investors anxious about whether the rally is sustainable when so much remains unknown. The Cboe Volatility Index, a closely watched measure of turbulence in U.S. stocks, also climbed on Monday.
“OPINION: Steve Levy: Coronavirus relief – shame on Pelosi, Democrats for holding up aid for small businesses” by Steve Levy via Fox News – Congressional Democrats played a key role in securing over $2 trillion for health care spending and economic assistance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But the current Democratic action holding up approval of $250 billion in desperately needed funds for a small-business loan program as a bargaining chip to get still more funds appropriated by Congress is despicable and outrageous. Congressional Republicans and President Trump are supporting the $250 billion request. Democrats need to join them to get the money flowing to replenish the now-depleted Paycheck Protection Program. It was reprehensible that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held up the initial Small Business Relief Fund for several days in order to win funding for a list of petty parochial pork-barrel projects, including $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. But now Pelosi and her radical colleagues are playing the hold-out game once again, thereby putting on hold needed rescue funds for yet another week. There are thousands of small-business owners in our nation wondering if they will be going out of business over the next few days. Yet congressional Democratic leaders are playing cynical games to leverage more money for their favored sectors, including businesses owned by women and minorities.
“Biden’s campaign plans day of community service efforts for Saturday” by CNN’s Eric Bradner – Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is planning a nationwide day of community service, with staff and supporters participating in local volunteer efforts Saturday. Biden’s entire organizing staff and his endorsers across every state are set to lead a series of volunteer actions that the campaign said will range from organizing food drives to hanging signs in windows thanking first responders, health care and grocery store workers. With Biden stuck at home and his campaign staff working remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic, the day of volunteer actions shows how his staff is looking for ways to continue its organizing efforts, which would usually involve traditional campaign activities such as house meetings, door-knocking and identifying volunteer leaders. “We want to build community all across the country, and we are a campaign that’s very focused on service and empathy,” said Kurt Bagley, Biden’s national organizing director. “We can still build that community, we can still take action, it’s just that some of these things change a little bit.”
“To Get Back to Work, Companies Seek Coronavirus Tests for Workers” by WSJ’s Sarah Krouse – Companies from Amazon.com Inc. to General Motors Co. are exploring ways to test their employees for Covid-19 before they come in to work. Regular tests for workers could keep exposure to sick employees to a minimum and boost employees’ confidence about coming back to work, corporate medical advisers and human-resources executives say. Yet companies face hurdles in rapidly building testing capacity. For one, tests remain tough to obtain in large quantities, those people say, and the practice raises potential issues of privacy and liability. Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, told shareholders Thursday that the company has started gathering the equipment it needs to build a Covid-19 testing lab for its employees. The e-commerce giant has redeployed a team of scientists, procurement specialists and software engineers to work on a lab for testing front-line workers. “Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running,” Mr. Bezos wrote in the shareholder letter.
“Trump favors more coronavirus aid to U.S. states, but in later bill” by Reuters’ Susan Cornwell – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he favors more coronavirus relief aid for state and local governments, but that will be for a future package to be negotiated with Congress, not in the one that is being negotiated now. “We will be saving that for another time,” Trump said at a White House briefing in response to a question about Democrats’ request for more aid to state and local governments. “I’m in favor of it,” he said. Trump said earlier that Republicans and Democrats were close to agreement on legislation to help the economy recover from harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Witnesses describe chaos during Nova Scotia shooting rampage” by Fox News’ David Aaro – Witnesses have begun to describe the chaos during Sunday’s deadly shooting rampage in Nova Scotia, Canada, that killed at least 16 people at multiple crime scenes and left victims “scattered across the province.” A truck driver from Ontario told CTV News he stopped at a gas station where the suspect, Gabriel Wortman, 51, was taken into custody, and later died. Tom Nurani said he stopped to shower and have breakfast when he heard an employee shouting. “She goes, ‘Oh my God, lock the doors, he’s here!’ And I peek out of the window and I saw some Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] vehicles and there was four or five uniforms with guns,” said Nurani. Other witnesses told the news division they saw police vehicles at the scene, heard gunshots, and saw a body on the ground. “All I could hear was gunshots and my wife, I thought I was going to call 911 because she was going into panic, it scared her so bad,” said Glen Hines, who was driving by the station.
“White House orders Maine company to make swabs under Defense Production Act” by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins – President Donald Trump announced Sunday he will compel a US company to make swabs under the Defense Production Act. Two people familiar with the decision tell CNN that company is Puritan Medical Products, which is based in Maine. It is known for making “flocked swabs,” which it says are better at collecting specimens than others.
Trump said the administration had experienced “difficulty” with the company, but did not elaborate further. Puritan did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. “We’ve had a little difficulty with one so we’ll call in — as we have in the past as you know — we are calling in the Defense Production Act and we’ll be getting swabs very easily,” Trump said.
Last week the FDA touted a new alternative swab it approved that could eventually allow people to collect their own samples for coronavirus diagnostic testing at home. One company making those swabs, U.S. Cotton, says they aren’t ready yet. Working with the FDA, U.S. Cotton designed a shorter swab than the kind typically used by health care workers. The new swab is shorter and can collect a sample from the front of the nose, instead of the others that are long and must be directed deep into the nose, which can be painful.
“Coronavirus Contract Disputes Start Hitting the Courts” by WSJ’s Jacob Gershman – Companies are suspending or terminating business agreements by relying on a common but rarely invoked escape hatch in the fine print of many commercial contracts, as the new coronavirus and government measures to slow its spread upend the economy. Known as “act of God” clauses—or “force majeure,” French for “superior force”—the provision has been cited in court cases across the U.S. and around the world in recent weeks by companies large and small—from California developers to global energy firms. The coronavirus crisis is putting a spotlight on the clauses and testing the sanctity of contracts—a cornerstone of the market economy—like no other event, lawyers say. A wave of litigation is expected in the coming months. “What we have here is an unprecedented nationwide force-majeure event,” said David Marmins, an Atlanta real estate litigator who works with landlords and tenants and has handled force-majeure cases. Force-majeure clauses are routine in contracts, from collective bargaining agreements—such as the one between National Basketball Association owners and players—to bank loans to drilling rights. They typically spell out extraordinary circumstances that can excuse a party from contractual obligations, including natural disasters and disruptions such as war, rioting, terrorism or government interventions.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump –96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Thank you! This must also mean that, most importantly, we are doing a good (great) job in the handling of the Pandemic.st political talking points for them. For me it’s about lives & the future of our Country!
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi –Leaders take responsibility. The President must stop attempting to shift blame and start making the science-based decisions we need to confront this crisis. #FamiliesFirst #FNS
Coronavirus this, Coronavirus that…