Governor Ron DeSantis

foreclosure sign
Miami Herald

If you’re having trouble paying rent or your mortgage, you won’t be evicted or foreclosed on in August. This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his executive order pausing evictions and foreclosure, but with changes to the previous extension. Evictions have been on hold since April as the state shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Jackson Health Care System union officials and healthcare professionals will host a press conference today demanding that Governor Ron DeSantis issue a statewide mask mandate.  Doctors and nurses at Jackson Health Care are also launching a public awareness campaign to urge Miami-Dade residents and all Floridians to wear masks.

EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD

On this Tuesday, July 14, episode of Sundial:

Rep. Donna Shalala Calls For Stay-At-Home Order

Florida is one of the epicenters for the coronavirus nationwide and the numbers show no signs of improvement.

Charles Trainor Jr. / MIAMI HERALD

On this Tuesday, June 30, episode of Sundial:

Florida & New York’s Responses To The Pandemic

Florida’s coronavirus cases continue to trend upwards as the state has become a new hotspot for the virus. It has added tens of thousands of cases over the past week, bringing the total to more than 156,000.

This comes as former hotspots like New York have seen a decline in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

President Trump wants an arena full of tens of thousands of excited Republicans in Charlotte this summer for the party's national convention. But the coronavirus is causing a lot of uncertainty, and North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hasn't been able to make assurances that such a gathering will be possible in August.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is defending the firing of the state's top data scientist tracking the coronavirus pandemic. Rebekah Jones was ousted from her position with the Department of Health on Monday. She says she was let go for refusing to manipulate data to support the state's reopening.

When first asked about Jones' dismissal, DeSantis on Monday called it a "nonissue." He said he understood from an email she sent her supervisor that "she was tired and needed a break."

Update at 8:51 p.m. ET

A scientist who created a dashboard for monitoring Florida's rising number of COVID-19 cases said she's been fired for refusing to manipulate the data.

STEVE CANNON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Florida’s state parks will reopen on Monday as part of a broader move to reopen the state. Governor DeSantis made the announcement today in Jacksonville. Restaurants and retails stores will also reopen at 25 percent capacity if local governments allow.

The governor is making an exception to those reopening rules in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, where there is the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Americans are generally skeptical of too much government intervention. Over the past three decades, the number of people saying they want the government to do less usually outnumbers those saying they want it to do more, according to Gallup.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Governor Ron DeSantis and his newly-formed task force are working on reopening the state during the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. DeSantis said some municipalities should feel free to start opening parks and beaches, with physical distancing guidelines. It comes as his administration faces increased scrutiny for its response to the coronavirus.

Jacksonville, Fla., Mayor Lenny Curry announced Thursday that parks and beaches in Duval County would reopen Friday at 5 p.m. with certain restrictions. The mayor said restrictions would allow "essential activities" only, as defined in an executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Those "essential activities" include walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing, as long as they're done within social distancing guidelines. Sunbathing is still prohibited.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that teams of National Guard personnel were being dispatched to dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities where COVID-19 cases have been found to test residents and staff for the virus.

DeSantis said the four-person National Guard "strike teams" have already been sent to 93 such long-term-care facilities, where a total of 962 positive cases have been discovered. But he said he wants to further expand testing.

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A big question going into this Easter weekend is whether some pastors in Florida will decide to hold services despite the risks of COVID-19 infection. One conservative Christian leader is trying to help congregations – and state and local officials – make the right call.

During Tuesday's White House press briefing, President Trump said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is "a great governor" who "knows exactly what he's doing" in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence added to the DeSantis accolades, saying the Republican governor has "been taking decisive steps from early on."

But according to public health experts, thousands of heath care workers and a pending lawsuit, DeSantis' leadership has been woefully inadequate.

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