Florida investigates vaccine 'passport' violators, Florida's first openly autistic lawyer, and a regional sports update
The state could start cracking down on vaccine passport violators. Also, Haley Moss shares her journey to becoming the first openly autistic lawyer in the state. Plus, what South Florida sports fans can look forward to this Fall.
On this Thursday, Oct. 14, edition of Sundial:
Florida investigates potential vaccine passport violators
In May, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning businesses and local governments from requiring people to prove they are vaccinated. Now the state is investigating a list of businesses and government entities for potentially violating this law.
Among those on the list are the Miami Marlins, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the Plantation Police Department, Royal Caribbean, and many more.
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Dr. Leslie Beitsch, a professor at Florida State University’s College of Medicine who also works as a lawyer and a physician, said these new enforcements could cost businesses an incredible amount of money. He noted the conflicts between federal and state law prohibiting cruise lines in Florida from requiring passengers to be vaccinated.
“The idea that we would not allow cruise lines — a big, major component of our tourism industry that base themselves in Florida — seems to be not in the best interest of our overall economy,” Beitsch said.
The Florida Department of Health has argued that mandating vaccinations would be discriminatory, some worry it could impact marginalized populations.
“I think that’s a spurious argument,” Beitsch said.
He worked at the Department of Health for many years.
“The idea is to actually protect [marginalized communities] by getting us all in a place where we establish some form of herd immunity,” Beitsch said. “What we’re discriminating against here is the potential to rid ourselves of the danger of the coronavirus.”
Haley Moss on becoming the first openly autistic lawyer in Florida
In 2019, Haley Moss became the first openly autistic lawyer in Florida.
This month, the American Bar Association is presenting her with the “Making a Difference By Breaking Barriers” award for her advocacy work toward disability inclusion.
She said some people have doubted her in every step of her journey to become a lawyer, but she was still determined to attend the University of Florida and the University of Miami School of Law. Moss has criticized schools and workplaces for not providing the necessary accommodations and support for people who have a disability.
“The systems that kind of surround education and also the workplace make it really difficult,” said Moss. “There’s all sorts of different reasons that folks with disabilities might not be able to succeed in these environments that have nothing to do with the disability itself.”
Moss has written books for autistic teenagers, college students, lawyers, and professionals. Her newest book, “The Young Autistic Adults Independence Handbook,” comes out in November.
Upcoming sports seasons
Fall is a wonderful time to be a sports fan. There’s football, basketball, and hockey.
But, being a South Florida sports fan can be tough at times. We don’t have as many winning teams as, say, our neighbors further north.
For example, Tampa Bay. They’ve actually started calling themselves “Champa Bay” for winning a Super Bowl and two Stanley Cups in recent years.
South Floridians may not have much to cheer for in football, but the Florida Panthers and the Miami Heat are about to start their new seasons and maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance these can be competitive teams.
“I’m bullish on the Panthers,” said Miami Herald sports reporter David Wilson. He added that last year was their best regular season ever and it could be the same this year.
As far as the Miami Heat go, he predicts they will finish third in the East. So, maybe there is something to root for.
Find more of his reporting here.