JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 5.13.20 – DeSantis Doing His Best – Rick Scott Takes On China – List of Most Partisan Members of Congress – More…
FeaturedFlorida Politics

JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 5.13.20 – DeSantis Doing His Best – Rick Scott Takes On China – List of Most Partisan Members of Congress – More…

824
0

Even as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that counties originally allowed to reopen during Phase 1 have shown a significantly lower COVID-19 infection rate since being given the go-ahead to re-open, his efforts to some Floridians is not good enough.

“Original Phase 1 counties reported receiving over 15,000 test results yesterday. New cases: 297. Percent Positive: 1.88%,” tweeted DeSantis

People want DeSantis to put his piecemeal approach of re-opening the state aside and just completely open the state without any hesitation.

take our poll - story continues below

Will You Be Voting In Person November 3rd?

  • Will You Be Voting In Person November 3rd?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to The Floridian updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

DeSantis is not stupid. Taking the cautious road is the best course of action for everyone. Broward County says it finally expects to reopen, and is just waiting for DeSantis to allow them to do so on Monday, May 19.

Is your U.S. Representative working in your best interest? Probably not.

The annual Lugar bipartisan index is out and surprisingly, there are some members of Congress that just can’t seem to want to place nice with their colleagues from the opposing political party. Here is the list of the most partisan members READ MORE

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who represents one of the most coveted swing districts in the country, is at the top of the list of those considered to be the most partisan. This could be a very big problem for her this November. READ MORE

Rick Scott says “NO” to Chinese Fried Rice and other products from “The Red Dragon.”

Florida Sen. Rick Scott has stepped up his one-man war against the Communist Chinese government. Scott wants Americans to spend their money here and not buy any “Made in China” products. READ MORE

Scott has also signed on to a bill that would levy sanctions on China. READ MORE

THE TRAIL…

The big race in Clay County this election cycle is for sheriff. Sheriff Darryl Daniels is running for reelection, even though he is currently under investigation for allegedly abusing his position. But now one of the candidates looking to unseat him, current Atlantic Beach Chief of Police Michelle Cook, has been accused of having had a U.S. Navy veteran falsely arrested when she apparently came to the aid of one of her friends. READ MORE

 

Here is a snapshot of the most up-to-date numbers from the Florida Dept. of Health:

Visit The Floridian

 

Brian Mast

Rep. Brian Mast

To be Partisan or not to be partisan. That is the question >>> List of Florida’s most bipartisan and partisan members of Congress

 

Trump will surely sign this >>> Rick Scott signs on to senate bill to sanction Communist China

For the kids >>> House Veterans Combat Child Abuse on Military Installations

“Rick Scott signs on to senate bill to sanction Communist China” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) has joined South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) and other colleagues in introducing the COVID-19 Accountability Act, which would authorize the President to impose sanctions on China and its Chinese Communist Government if they refuse to cooperate and provide a full accounting of the events that led up to the COVID-19 outbreak. Senator Graham is “convinced that without Chinese Communist Party deception the virus would not be here in the United States.” Moreover, he asserted that “China refuses to allow the international community to go into the Wuhan lab to investigate,” adding that “they refuse to allow investigators to study how this outbreak started.” Noting that “China will never cooperate with a serious investigation unless they are made to so,” he confirmed that “this hard-hitting piece of legislation will sanction China until they cooperate with investigators.” Senator Scott supports the China sanction legislation and has made it clear he wants answers, commenting that “Communist China started a global pandemic and failed to provide any information that could have helped save thousands of lives.” Saying that “they need to be held accountable,” Scott added that “if Communist China refuses to be honest about the origins of the Coronavirus, the U.S. will not wait for history to judge them harshly.”

“House Veterans Combat Child Abuse on Military Installations” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R) and California Rep. Gilbert R. Cisneros (D) have joined forces to introduce the End Military-Connected Child Abuse and Neglect Act that would improve how the Department of Defense tracks and responds to incidents of child abuse and neglect occurring on military installations or involving military dependents. Currently, there are 1.2 million estimated school-aged military dependents around the world, which includes tens of thousands in Department of Defense Education Activity schools. In a statement, Rep. Mast commented that “children are among the most vulnerable in our society, and it is clear that protecting the more than 1.2 million children in military families needs to be a higher priority.” With this legislation, Mast asserted that it “will ensure we are working together to protect children from abuse and making sure no one slips through the cracks.” Rep. Cisneros echoed in Mast’s remarks, adding that “as a Navy Veteran, the livelihood and safety of our military families has always been” a top priority for him.” Moreover, “after learning about the challenges military families face through HASC and GAO’s recent report on military-connected child abuse response, I wanted to ensure the Department of Defense is abiding by the important recommendations in the report.”

“Mucarsel-Powell ranks among least bipartisan legislators” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – The nonpartisan Lugar Center has just released its annual bipartisan index for House members, and Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is drawing criticism for ranking among the least bipartisan members at number 409. Rep. Mucarsel-Powell ranks around fellow lawmakers such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D), Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), Ayanna Pressley and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D), who make up the ultra-progressive “Squad” in the U.S. House of Representatives. Moreover, it was also noted that Rep. Mucarsel-Powell votes along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) 100% of the time. Because of this, national and state Republicans have now bolstered their attack against the freshman lawmaker who faces a contentious reelection bid. Mucarsel-Powell will face the winner of the Republican primary between firefighter Omar Blanco and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. In addition, President Trump has signaled that his presidential campaign would specifically target her in the state of Florida as the president also looks to maintain a stronghold in the sunshine state. During a press call late last year, Eric Trump said that Mucarsel-Powell and other members of the House who impeached his father would be “held accountable” for their action. “People are going to have to be held accountable to that (impeachment), and you better believe my father will be campaigning a tremendous amount in Florida, as will I, as will Don,” said Trump.

“Biden Vows to Appoint Inspector General to Investigate Trump Administration’s Coronavirus Stimulus Loans” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed if elected president he will appoint a “truly independent non-partisan Inspector General” on his first day to investigate every single coronavirus stimulus loan given to any “big company or political insider.” “Let me issue a warning right now to anyone who participates in a corrupt giveaway with President Trump and his administration,” Biden said in a minute-long video released by his campaign Tuesday morning. “In my first day as President, I will appoint a truly independent non-partisan Inspector General and I will direct her to review every stimulus loan given to any big company or political insider.” The Inspector General taped by Biden will have the power to report any potential wrongdoing and abuse by “any company or executive” to the Department of Justice. “Any dollar that goes to someone that does not merit it under the law, any dollar taken corruptly, we will find it, we will come get it and we will punish the wrongdoers,” Biden said. Such probe “should start tomorrow. But if it doesn’t, it will start on January 20, 2021,” he added.

“Chief Michelle Cook accused of falsely arresting black Navy veteran” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With the U.S. Department of Justice currently investigating the alleged corruption within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the scrutiny on corruption within law enforcement agencies across the nation has reached a fever pitch. Police over-stepping their authority runs rampant in many law enforcement agencies, especially in small-to-mid-sized cities like Jacksonville, Florida. Former Asst. Chief of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office Michelle Cook, has been accused of using her position in 2012 to “intimidate” and having a U.S. Navy veteran wrongly arrested. Cook, the current Chief of Police for the City of Atlantic Beach, Florida, and candidate for Clay County Sheriff has been accused by Chief Derek Cashaw of using her position to sweep a 2012 dog park incident under the rug, and having him arrested without just cause. During a recent video interview obtained by The Floridian, Cashaw said that he was at a dog park walking his dog when “another dog ran out of the water and attacked” his dog. Cashaw said he “yelled for the owner of the dog, but no one came, forcing him to “kick the dog” so that it would release his dog from its mouth.

“Rick Scott: Boycott Communist China, buy American” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) appeared on the Guy Benson Radio Show, where he asserted his very concise opinion on trade with China: “No American should ever buy one product ever made from communist China.” Benson asked Sen. Scott about the new report that German intelligence corroborated American intelligence in stating that the Chinese government was involved in a cover-up with the World Health Organization (WHO) to keep the real spread of the COVID-19 virus under wraps from the rest of the world. Here are excerpts of the interview: Sen. Scott: China Lied the WHO help them. Thousands of people died. Those are the facts. So the WHO is basically they parroted whatever communist China information they wanted out there. So I’m on Homeland Security Committee in the Senate. I am leading the investigation of the W.H.O.. We’re going to find out what are the facts. Did they have a pandemic plan? If they had it, which I can’t imagine they didn’t. Did they follow it? When did they find information? When did they find out information? And did they tell us? So it it sure appears is that the WHO is just a propaganda arm for the Communist Party.

 

“Stacey Abrams Endorses Biden For President” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams officially endorsed the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s bid for the presidency on Tuesday, calling him the “leader America needs.” “Vice President Biden is the leader America needs — a leader who will restore dignity, competence, and compassion to the Oval Office while restoring America’s moral leadership around the world,” Abrams said in a statement released by the Biden campaign announcing the endorsement. “His commitment to fighting climate change, leading an economic recovery for all, and protecting every eligible American’s right to vote are among the many reasons why he must be the next President of the United States.” She added, “While marginalized communities struggle under Donald Trump’s failed leadership and people of color face disproportionate consequences of COVID-19, Joe Biden will take no one for granted. I look forward to continuing my strong support for his candidacy and doing all I can to make sure he is elected this November.” Abrams has aggressively lobbied herself for the Number two spot, frequently promoting herself in interviews by arguing that she would make an “excellent” choice and that she is the most electable contender.

“Federal aid for Florida college students on the way” by News 4 Jax’s Mike Vasilinda – The proverbial check is in the mail for thousands of students and could arrive as early as Wednesday. The money comes from Florida State University’s nearly $30 million share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but it is only for students who have already demonstrated a financial need. FSU’s first wave of funding totals $6.2 million. Checks ranging from $400 to $600 will be sent to more than 12,500 students who have already demonstrated a financial need. Graduate students could see $1,000 checks. “The Department of Education gave us the criteria kind of to base it on — Pell Grant money, people who desperately need financial aid, people who had already filed an application with the federal government for some type of grant in aid,” said FSU President John Thrasher. Statewide, more than $125 million will go directly to students, but each university has latitude on how to distribute the money. Across town from FSU, Florida A&M University is sending the bulk of its $6.5 million out now. “We have over 65 percent of our students who are Pell-eligible, and so we know they need those funds now,” said FAMU Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Hudson.

“Is COVID-19 Causing “Excessive” Deaths in Florida?” by Tallahassee Reports’ Staff – In an effort to measure the impact of COVID-19, a number of experts are turning to a measure called excessive deaths. Excessive deaths occur when deaths during a current time period are greater than what would be expected based on an average of deaths over a previous time period. The measure of excess deaths does not depend on identifying the cause of death, it simply reveals that deaths occurred. This approach gets past the controversy of assigning a cause and focuses on deaths related to past expectations. For example, the CDC reported that in New York City during March 11–May 2, 2020, a total of 32,107 deaths were reported. Of these deaths, 24,172 were found to be in excess of the seasonal expected baseline. Is there evidence of excessive deaths in Florida? The chart below shows weekly deaths in Florida for 2018, 2019 and for the first 15 weeks of 2020 (week ending April 11, 2020). The source of the data is the CDC. In week 15, which is highlighted below, there were 4,330 deaths reported. During the same week in 2018 there were 3,896 deaths and in 2019 there were 4,153 deaths. Looking at cumulative deaths through week 15, there were 63,825 in 2018, 61,756 in 2019, and 64,092 in 2020. Based on the cumulative numbers, excessive deaths in 2020 could be estimated to be 1-3%.

“COVID-19, testing soar in Florida prisons” by Ocala.com – Eight Florida prisons are hot spots for COVID-19, with the number of inmates testing positive for the highly contagious disease continuing to soar even as the state loosens restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. The clusters of cases at prisons throughout the state surfaced after the Florida Department of Corrections and health officials recently began mass testing of inmates at facilities with existing cases of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 6,283 tests on inmates were performed, a boost of more than 5,500 tests in just one week. The test results revealed outbreaks in four more prisons and nearly doubled the number of inmates who tested positive for the virus. Corrections officials announced Monday night they had taken additional measures to address COVID-19 outbreaks at Homestead Correctional Institution and Apalachee Correctional Institution, the latest prisons with dozens of reported coronavirus cases. “Testing is being expanded at institutions with known positive COVID-19 cases in order for FDC to focus medical personnel and services to inmates with the greatest need,” the Department of Corrections said in a prepared statement provided to The News Service of Florida on Monday. The ramp-up in testing comes amid oubreaks at prisons located in Volusia, Jackson, Liberty, Sumter, Palm Beach, Columbia, Santa Rosa and Miami-Dade counties.

“Eight Florida prisons are hot spots for COVID-19” by News Service of Florida – Eight Florida prisons are hot spots for COVID-19, with the number of inmates testing positive for the highly contagious disease continuing to soar even as the state loosens restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. The clusters of cases at prisons throughout the state surfaced after the Florida Department of Corrections and health officials recently began mass testing of inmates at facilities with existing cases of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 6,283 tests on inmates were performed, a boost of more than 5,500 tests in just one week. The test results revealed outbreaks in four more prisons and nearly doubled the number of inmates who tested positive for the virus. Corrections officials announced Monday night they had taken additional measures to address COVID-19 outbreaks at Homestead Correctional Institution and Apalachee Correctional Institution, the latest prisons with dozens of reported coronavirus cases. “Testing is being expanded at institutions with known positive COVID-19 cases in order for FDC to focus medical personnel and services to inmates with the greatest need,” the Department of Corrections said in a prepared statement provided to the News Service of Florida on Monday. The ramp-up in testing comes amid oubreaks at prisons located in Volusia, Jackson, Liberty, Sumter, Palm Beach, Columbia, Santa Rosa and Miami-Dade counties.

“Duke Energy Florida plans to spend $6.4 billion to harden its grid over 10 years” by Tampa Bay Times’ Malena Carollo – Duke Energy Florida expects to spend $6.4 billion over the next 10 years to make its grid stand up better to significant storms, its parent company Duke Energy Co. said on a quarterly call Tuesday. “These investments will generate meaningful customer benefits by enhancing reliability while reducing restoration costs and outage times associated with extreme weather events,” said Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy Co. Last June, the state legislature passed a law that required public utilities to harden their electrical infrastructure against storms, largely by moving sensitive portions of it underground. They must submit a 10-year plan outlining how they will accomplish this. But as regulators and stakeholders, including the utilities, hammered out details of what would go into the plans, consumer advocates warned there weren’t enough safeguards to prevent customers from being double-charged. Without a granular enough account of what projects the utilities would undertake each year, the Office of Public Counsel argued, the utilities could charge customers twice for something that was already accomplished under an existing initiative, such as vegetation trimming. The latest iteration of the plans mitigates this issue in the short-term for Tampa Bay’s utilities. In a recent settlement with the Florida Public Service Commission, Tampa Electric Co. agreed to lower the base rate it charges customers to make room for the charge in the first years of the program. If the settlement is approved later this year, there is less of a chance customers will be charged twice for a single project.

READ MORE at THE FLORIDIAN

 

 

 “Flynn judge to allow ‘amicus’ submissions, delaying immediate resolution and drawing planned ethics complaint” by Fox News’ Gregg Re – D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order Tuesday indicating he’ll soon accept “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court” submissions, in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn — drawing immediate scrutiny and a planned ethics complaint against Sullivan, who had previously refused to hear amicus briefs in the case. Sullivan’s minute order indicated that an upcoming scheduling order would clarify the parameters of who specifically could submit the amicus briefs, which are submissions by non-parties that claim an interest in the case. Sullivan specifically said he anticipated that “individuals and organizations” will file briefs “for the benefit of the court.” “Judge Sullivan, who denied leave to file amicus briefs when he knew third parties would have spoken favorably of Flynn, now solicits briefs critical of Flynn,” independent journalist Michael Cernovich wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening. “This is a violation of the judicial oath and applicable ethical rules. We will be filing a complaint against Sullivan. … [He] is acting as a politician, not a judge.” Sullivan had previously held that “[o]ptions exist for a private citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the Court’s docket is not an available option.”

“Jeff Sessions says his recusal from Russia probe was an attempt to help Trump” by CNN’s Jamie Ehrlich – Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday again defended his 2017 decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, saying his decision had been made in an attempt to help President Donald Trump. “As the world knows, the President disagreed with me on recusal, but I did what the law required me to do. I was a central figure in the campaign and was also a subject of and witness in the investigation and could obviously not legally be involved in investigating myself,” the Alabama Republican wrote in a press release Tuesday. “If I had ignored and broken the law, the Democrats would have used that to severely damage the President.” Trump has levied multiple attacks on Sessions in recent days, focusing particularly on Sessions’ 2017 recusal as the former Cabinet member vies to reclaim his US Senate seat in Alabama. On “Fox and Friends” on Friday, Trump said of Sessions, “He goes in — he was so bad in his nomination proceedings. I should have gotten rid of him there,” adding that he “knew less about Russia than I did.” “But they got him standing on a line with Kislyak … everyone in Washington knew Kislyak,” he remarked, referring to former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Put on the defensive with Republican Alabama voters, Sessions wrote in Tuesday’s press release that “I believe President Trump is a great President who is steadily making progress for America, despite relentless opposition.”

“FEMA Cancels $55.5 Million Mask Contract With Panthera” by WSJ’s Mark Maremont – The federal government said it canceled a $55.5 million contract for respiratory masks, signed last month with a small Virginia firm with no history in the mask business and a parent company in bankruptcy. The no-bid contract, with Panthera Worldwide LLC, was one of the largest mask orders signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as it has raced in recent weeks to find masks and other protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Panthera originally had agreed to provide 10 million N95 masks to FEMA by May 1. The contract had been extended once to May 11, FEMA has said. A FEMA spokeswoman said the contract was canceled Tuesday “on the grounds of nondelivery.” FEMA has said it wouldn’t pay Panthera until the masks were delivered. Jim Punelli, a Panthera co-owner, didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Mr. Punelli previously said the entity supplying the masks isn’t in bankruptcy and has a successful history as a government contractor. He also said he was confident he would deliver the masks on time. A federal official said Panthera requested a second extension of four additional days, which FEMA rejected. When it gave Panthera the contract, the official said, FEMA followed standard federal contracting procedures, and it initially believed the vendor would be able to deliver on the promised masks.

“Supreme Court questions limits of congressional subpoena power, presidential immunity in Trump tax return cases” by Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Bill Mears – The Supreme Court waded uneasily Tuesday into politically-charged fights over executive accountability as justices held oral arguments in cases dealing with subpoenas of President Trump’s personal tax and financial records. First up was a constitutional showdown testing the separation of powers between the White House and the federal legislature, as President Trump’s legal team challenged subpoenas from Democrat-led House committees seeking financial records from him and his businesses, including his tax returns. “How can we both protect the House interests and obtain information it needs to legislate, but also protect the presidency?” asked Justice Brett Kavanaugh, summarizing the conflict. “How can the court balance those interests?” House Democrats claim in two cases that have been consolidated to be heard together that they require the president’s personal records — which provide information from before his presidency — so that they can address lending practices by financial institutions, as well as possible Russian money laundering. Trump insists that he is being targeted for political reasons as opposed to a legitimate legislative purpose, and that Congress does not have the right to expose individuals without a valid reason. Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned the validity of using the president as a “case study” for potential future legislation. She said this could violate restrictions against exposing for the sake of exposure.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to co-chair Biden campaign climate task force” by CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Gregory Krieg, and Paul LeBlanc – Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will co-chair a task force for Joe Biden’s campaign on climate change, a source with direct knowledge of the planning tells CNN, a move that adds progressive credentials to the former vice president’s effort to unify the party ahead of the general election. The group is one of several task forces being formed to bridge the divide between the polices of Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ended his White House bid last month. “I’m working with Bernie and with his people. And so, and we’ve made some changes. We’ve listened to Bernie supporters and, you know, for example, we have Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, she is on one of the panels,” Biden said Tuesday in an interview with News8 in Las Vegas. Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in a statement that the congresswoman made the decision to join the task force “with members of the Climate Justice community – and she will be fully accountable to them and the larger advocacy community during this process.” “She believes the movement will only be successful if we continue to apply pressure both inside and outside the system. This is just one element of the broader fight for just policies,” the statement said. The task forces — examining a variety of areas from the economy to criminal justice to health care — were announced when Sanders endorsed Biden last month. “It’s no great secret out there, Joe, that you and I have our differences, and we’re not going to paper them over. That’s real,” Sanders said when he endorsed Biden. “But I hope that these task forces will come together utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign to work out real solutions to these very, very important problems.”

“Fauci, Other Top Health Officials Emphasize Testing Before Easing Lockdowns” by WSJ’s Thomas M. Burton and Stephanie Armour – Top Trump administration health officials emphasized the need for caution and widespread testing while easing coronavirus lockdowns, warning in a Senate hearing that serious risks would continue into the fall as schools looked to reopen. “If certain areas prematurely open up, my concern is we might see spikes that turn into outbreaks,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told senators on Tuesday. “The consequences could be serious. Even in states that reopen with a deliberate pace…there is no doubt that when you pull back on mitigation, you will see some cases reappear.” The testimony from Dr. Fauci and others on how to safely reopen the economy came as most states began tentative reopenings after weeks of closure, with President Trump supporting the moves in a bid to ease the pandemic’s economic impact. The U.S. has had more than 1.35 million confirmed coronavirus cases, and more than 81,000 people have died. “The number is likely higher,” Dr. Fauci said because, he told senators, at the peak of the outbreak in hot spots like New York, many people died at home and never made it to a hospital to be confirmed positive for the virus. Governors are seeking to increase testing capacity and build contact-tracing teams as they move toward easing their lockdowns—but states are also encountering friction with President Trump over how and when to ease restrictions.

“Stimulus checks, state aid and more: What’s in House Democrats’ new coronavirus relief bill” by Fox News’ Morgan Phillips – House Democrats have put forth their biggest and most expensive coronavirus aid package yet, with a price tag of around $3 trillion, Fox News is told. Here is what’s inside the proposal: More direct payments – The package, dubbed the HEROES Act, includes more direct payments beyond the $1,200 check most Americans received under earlier legislation. The new bill offers another $1,200 payment for each family member in a household, up to $6,000. State and local government aid – The bill allocates about $1 trillion to state, local and tribal governments for “honoring our heroes,” the legislation’s namesake. Democrats have argued that with a loss of tax revenue, states and cities desperately need federal aid to pay health care workers, first responders, police and teachers. Republicans have argued against bailing out “poorly run” states that have pension deficits and other financial issues that predate coronavirus. Hazard pay for essential workers – A “Heroes Fund” would be established, providing $200 billion to essential workers who worked during the pandemic as hazard pay.

“Democrats unveil $3 trillion Covid relief package and plan to vote this week” by CNN’sClare Foran, Manu Raju and Haley Byrd – House Democrats announced a sweeping new Covid-19 stimulus bill on Tuesday with a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion — an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history. The legislation, which provides funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, and a new round of direct payments to Americans, sets up an immediate clash with the Senate, where Republican leaders have said another round of emergency funding is not yet needed. Sen. John Barrasso, a member of Republican leadership in the chamber, warned that the new bill is dead on arrival. “That will not pass. It’s not going to be supported,” he said of the new legislation. The package is expected to cost more than $3 trillion, dwarfing the stimulus measure enacted in March, which was more than $2 trillion and at the time amounted to the largest emergency aid package in American history. The bill, which Democrats are calling the Heroes Act, would provide nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments, a $200 billion fund for essential worker hazard pay, an additional $75 billion for Covid-19 testing, tracing and isolation efforts, and a new round of direct payments to Americans of up to $6,000 per household, according to a fact sheet released by the House Appropriations Committee. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, notified members on Tuesday afternoon that the House is expected to meet Friday morning to vote on the legislation.

“On the Ground in Wuhan, Signs of China Stalling Probe of Coronavirus Origins” by WSJ’s  Jeremy Page and Natasha Khan – Around 1 a.m. on Dec. 31, Lu Junqing woke to a phone call from his boss at a local disinfection company. Get a team together and head to the Huanan market, he was told: “Bring your best kit.” Mr. Lu knew the market, a sprawling maze of stalls near a railway station, but had no clue it was the suspected source of a mysterious illness spreading across this city, later identified as Covid-19. When he got there, local officials directed him to a cluster of stalls selling wild animals for meat or traditional medicine. There were carcasses and caged live specimens, including snakes, dogs, rabbits and badgers, he said. As his team started to spray disinfectant, the officials began taking samples from the stalls, sewers and goods, Mr. Lu says. They got his team to help with the dead animals, picking out feces and fur with tweezers, and sealing them in plastic bags. More than four months later, Chinese officials have yet to share with the world any data from the animals Mr. Lu and others say were sampled. Beijing now appears to be stalling international efforts to find the source of the virus amid an escalating U.S. push to blame China for the pandemic, according to interviews with dozens of health experts and officials. The lack of transparency and international involvement in the search has left room for speculation and blame. It also troubles health experts and officials who say finding the source is key to preventing the same virus from jumping again from animal to human—potentially unleashing another wave of disease.

 

President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrumpWomen for Trump co-chair: Biden might not be ‘ultimate nominee,’ and Dems engaging in ‘elder abuse’

Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff –Trump, Fox & WSJ continue to lie about what Mueller found. That’s their choice. But the evidence shows Trump’s campaign invited Russian help, made full use of it & covered it up.

 

 

Marco Rubio @marcorubio – Welcome move by the President. It’s outrageous that 5 unelected bureaucrats wanted to invest the retirement savings of members of the U.S. military in Chinese companies actively working against the interests they are sworn to protect.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – We are still in the midst of a crisis, but @SenRickScott & the GOP are already using COVID-19 as an excuse to slash spending for long-targeted social programs. Americans need help now. Economists say we need to provide more aid, not take it away.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy – FL is regarded as the fishing capital of the world, but our fishing industry has been hit hard by #COVID19 & that’s had a ripple effect on our economy. In April I urged @SecretaryRoss to quickly release aid the #CARESAct provided fisherman & I welcome this news.

Congressman Greg Steube @RepGregSteube -This is the problem with the media. @chucktodd deliberately spread lies to mislead the American public and falsely criticize this Admin. When he got caught, he wasn’t even apologetic. When are you going to hold your “journalists” accountable, @NBCNews ?

Nikki Fried @nikkifried -There is no excuse for this. People shouldn’t have to go through all of this to apply for unemployment benefits. RT if you agree @GovRonDeSantis needs to focus on getting people paid

Tagged:

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist. Diverse New Media, Corp. publishes Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking.Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics.Learn more at www.brownpeople.orgEmail him at [email protected]