Gov Ron DeSantis

Election Gift For Florida? Trump Poised To Approve Drug Imports From Canada

Sep 18, 2020
Lydia Zuraw/Kaiser Health News illustration / Getty Images

Over the objections of drugmakers, the Trump administration is expected within weeks to finalize its plan that would allow states to import some prescription medicines from Canada.

Six states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont — have passed laws allowing them to seek federal approval to buy drugs from Canada to give their residents access to lower-cost medicines.

But industry observers say the drug importation proposal under review by the administration is squarely aimed at Florida — the most populous swing state in the November election. Trump’s support of the idea initially came at the urging of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close Republican ally.

beer taps behind bar
News Service of Florida

Florida bars can open the taps again Monday.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears announced Thursday he was rescinding an emergency order that prevented onsite consumption of alcohol at bars amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Unemployed Floridians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will soon be receiving additional federal benefits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that eligible residents will receive an additional $300 a week through the Federal Lost Wages Program authorized by President Donald Trump.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have raised the state's legal age to buy tobacco, as well as banned some vaping products.

The bill, a priority of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, was passed largely in response to the rise in youth vaping.

It raised the age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping products, from 18 to 21. It also banned flavored nicotine products used in vape cartridges.

A day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they would play their first two games in Raymond James Stadium without spectators, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the team to allow fans to attend.

“If the Bucs had fans, I would try to go to the first home game. I would,” DeSantis said during a Thursday roundtable in St. Petersburg about bars and breweries. “I am not going to go if other fans are not allowed.”

After months of isolation and lockdown, Florida residents can now visit their loved ones in extended-care and senior facilities.

Governor Ron DeSantis talked with local brewery owners Thursday in St. Petersburg about their business struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic, and their prospects for fully reopening.

"We started out down 70 to 75 percent in the middle of all of this. We are down less than half now," said Mike Harting, who runs Three Daughters Brewing.

"That confidence is definitely coming back in the consumer," he said.

Monday night's extension of Florida's rent moratorium signaled another moment of relief for renters while landlords will once again be halted from evicting tenants. For the past five months, Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued late extensions for the moratorium within hours of it expiring.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has again extended a moratorium against residential evictions and foreclosures.

He did so Monday night, just hours before a previous extension was to expire, potentially giving another reprieve to scores of financially struggling Floridians who've lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The extension means residents struggling with rents and mortgages cannot be forced out of their homes until the end of the month.

diame mcmillen makes heart sign with hand toward her mom
Diane McMillen

Some families have been able to see their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities face-to-face for the first time in months, now that the state has approved recommendations to resume visitation.

DeSantis, Rivkees Tell Sick Teachers And Students To Stay Home

Sep 1, 2020
Austin Pacheco

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees on Monday said to reduce the risk of new coronavirus cases, teachers and students should stay home if they feel sick.

“Fever, cough, shortness of breath, change in smell, change in taste, sore throat, if you feel sick at all. Please don’t go to school. Contact your health care provider and get tested,” he said.

Scott Atlas speaking
The Florida Channel

With students returning to classrooms throughout most of the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and an adviser to President Donald Trump on Monday tried to bolster support for offering in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Head shots of Charles Dodson and Ron DeSantis
2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida; WUSF Public Media

Siding with teachers unions, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday lifted a stay of his earlier ruling that a state order requiring schools to reopen in August is unconstitutional.

Judge Charles Dodson on Monday issued a temporary injunction accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other state education officials of ignoring the Florida Constitution by requiring school districts to resume face-to-face instruction this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. School districts risk losing state funding if they don’t comply with the emergency order, issued by Corcoran on July 6.

Task Force Delivers Blueprint For Nursing Home Visits

Aug 27, 2020
task force video conference screen
The Florida Channel

Florida should allow the resumption of face-to-face visits in nursing homes --- and let certain visitors touch residents --- under recommendations approved Wednesday by a task force and sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The recommendations, adopted by the Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long Term Care Facilities, still must be approved by DeSantis, who has been looking for ways to reopen facilities to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

News Service of Florida

Florida officials are urging a Leon County circuit judge to keep in place a stay on his ruling that a state mandate to reopen brick-and-mortar schools is unconstitutional. Attorneys for the state argued that allowing the ruling to go into effect would “sow confusion and disarray.”

The state’s arguments filed Wednesday were the latest twist in a legal battle over a July 6 emergency order issued by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran mandating that schools reopen this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is applying to participate in a new federal unemployment assistance program to boost benefits another $300 a week.

DeSantis made the announcement Wednesday, saying he's applying to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance Program.

People currently receiving at least $100 in benefits and who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic can be eligible for another $300 a week.

Once approved, benefits will be retroactive to Aug. 1.

Governor Ron DeSantis joined executives from Florida theme parks Wednesday for a press conference to discuss the parks’ reopenings.

DeSantis kept his messaging message centered on how important the theme parks are to employment in the Orlando and Central Florida area. He pointed to a 67 percent decrease in tourists to Central Florida from last year as a sign of the ailing economy locally.

DeSantis speaks at hard rock stadium
The Florida Channel

A limited number of South Florida football fans can make plans to watch college and professional games in person next month, even as the region remains behind the rest of the state in reopening its economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared Monday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and pointed to a decrease in positive coronavirus tests as he supported plans to allow 13,000 fans, about 20 percent of capacity, into the stadium for home games of the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes.

child in school writing in workbook
Pasco County Schools

Leon County Judge Charles Dodson has ruled in favor of the Florida Education Association's challenge of the state's requirement that brick-and-mortar schools reopen.

Monday's decision said Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran's order overrode school boards' authority to run their own systems. 

Florida's Cautionary Tale: How Gutting And Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire

Aug 24, 2020
Dr Cain
Associated Press

On a sweltering July morning, Rose Wilson struggled to breathe as she sat in her bed, the light from her computer illuminating her face and the oxygen tubes in her nose.

Wilson, a retiree who worked as a public health department nurse supervisor in Duval County for 35 years, had just been diagnosed with COVID-19-induced pneumonia. She had a telemedicine appointment with her doctor.

Politifact Check: DeSantis Says COVID Lower Risk Than Flu For Kids

Aug 21, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Joe Byrnes / WMFE

Even as his state is a hotbed for COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing schools to reopen so parents have the choice of sending children back to the classroom or keeping them home to learn virtually.

The Republican governor has said children without any underlying health conditions would benefit from in-person learning and the stimulation and companionship of being among other young people. He has also made clear that he thinks these benefits far outweigh what he considers to be minimal risks.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggests South Florida should join the rest of the state in the second phase of economic recovery efforts.

He says having venues like bars closed down hasn’t helped bring down the positivity rate in this region.

 Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Floridians to take care of their mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause fear and isolation.

On Wednesday in Altamonte Springs, he convened a roundtable  of physicians and criminal justice leaders to discuss data trends that define the degree of our isolation. 

South Florida is on the verge of moving to Phase 2 of reopening from COVID-19 restrictions, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Citing “significant downward trends” in coronavirus cases, the governor said he is discussing the move with all three counties — Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

“I’m not saying I’m going to do it today or we’re gonna do it tomorrow. ...[But] these are sustained trends at this point and I think that that’s a good thing,” he said.

Nursing Home Task Force Hones Recommendations On Visits

Aug 19, 2020
The Florida Channel

It’s unlikely that Florida will mandate all nursing homes reopen to all visitors any time soon.

Instead, a panel appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis discussed draft recommendations Tuesday to “strongly encourage access” and to “limit barriers to visitation” for two groups: “essential caregivers” and “compassionate visitors.” The recommendations also include that those visitors be tested for COVID-19, consistent with facility testing policies for staff members.

Top health care regulators in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration on Friday discussed a limited reopening of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that would not require COVID-19 screening for visitors.

Hillsborough County schools Superintendent Addison Davis said Thursday the district's schools will be conducted entirely online for only the first week of school, instead of the first four weeks.

New Judge Sets Hearing In Florida School Reopening Lawsuit

Aug 13, 2020
Teacher pointing in front of screen
Airfocus / Unsplash

As students in a dozen counties return to classrooms this week amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson has scheduled a Thursday hearing in a lawsuit about Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s mandate that schools reopen campuses.

Teachers Ponder Early Retirement As Schools Reopen

Aug 13, 2020
Miami Herald

Dave Galloway, an Army veteran and sixth grade science teacher in Jackson County, is used to assessing risk in his life. 

When COVID-19 swept over Florida this spring, the 64-year-old refrained from going to church and restaurants. He ordered groceries online. And he made sure to wear a face mask and carry hand sanitizer every time he left the house.

Gov Ron DeSantis
State of Florida / From Video

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday warned “policymakers” about problems with COVID-19 data collected and published by the state and said he directed the Department of Health to “remedy” the issue.

During an early evening televised address, DeSantis did not offer details about what he directed the health department to do. But he made the comments after the reported number of COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County jumped by 4,141 on Wednesday.