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After months of dismissing the COVID-19 pandemic as a “hoax,” Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for…the novel coronavirus. At the same time, Bolsonaro’s behavior leading up to Tuesday's news has cost him popularity even in perhaps his most loyal outpost: South Florida.

Merriam-Webster raised the hackles of stodgy grammarians last week when it affirmed the lexical veracity of "irregardless."

The word's definition, when reading it, would seem to be: without without regard.

"Irregardless is included in our dictionary because it has been in widespread and near-constant use since 1795," the dictionary's staff wrote in a "Words of the Week" roundup on Friday. "We do not make the English language, we merely record it."

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On Friday morning, Vonshay Crenshaw sat on a cooler under the shade of a coconut palm. He knew the beaches were closed, but hoped to have a picnic with friends on the grass in front of the beach until those hopes were dashed.

Evan Vucci / AP

Over the weekend, President Trump was quoted saying he was interested in meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. And that has set off alarm bells – both to denounce and defend Trump – inside South Florida’s large Venezuelan diaspora.

How a National Health Crisis Fell On The Backs Of Local Leaders

Jun 19, 2020
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

On Friday, March 13, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stood in the White House Rose Garden to declare COVID-19 a national emergency. But the risk of the disease, Pence told the nation, remained low. 

“We don’t want everybody taking this test; it’s totally unnecessary,” Trump assured Americans. “This will pass.”

In one of the most controversial moments of one of America’s most controversial presidencies, Donald Trump this month sent National Guard troops to Washington's D.C.'s Lafayette Square, near the White House. Pepper spray was fired to disperse what videos show were largely peaceful protesters demonstrating against police brutality and racism.

Trump says he supports the protesters’ cause. But his unusual military response has divided Americans – including Latin American expats here in South Florida.

Courtesy Col5Vid

Col5Vid – a Spanish pun that stands for Colombia Sin COVID, or Colombia Without COVID-19 – is one of Colombia’s most dynamic new charity groups. But Col5Vid's founder admits the idea wasn’t born at a board room table – but on a bedroom sofa.

Andre Penner / AP

COMMENTARY

It’s a mystery why the Trump Administration chose Miami this week as one of only two major U.S. cities to be sent “riot teams” as protests against police brutality and racism sweep the nation.

But you can be fairly sure that that brief federal deployment impressed one very large group here in particular: conservative, voter-eligible Latin American expats, especially those who fled lawlessness in their home countries for the law and order of this one. And yet, Latin American expats are precisely the South Floridian voices that should be out in front of these angry marches – warning the rest of us.

Facebook

They're a familiar sight and sound in South Florida’s Venezuelan community: videos of exiles defending themselves against accusations that they’re “Chavistas," or sympathizers of Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist regime, a government despised by almost every expat here.

But the “yo no soy Chavista” Facebook video Carmen Jaqueline Gimenez recently posted was of particular interest because she’s running for office in November – for mayor of Hallandale Beach.

Hundreds Gather In Miami To Protest George Floyd Death

May 30, 2020
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Hundreds of people protesting police brutality and the death of George Floyd gathered under a sweltering sun in Downtown Miami on Saturday afternoon.

By 3 p.m. the crowd had gathered at Miami’s Torch of Friendship monument at Bayfront Park, some chanting: “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” One man, shirtless in the steamy heat that approached 90 degrees, yelled out: “Say his name!”

“George Floyd!” the crowd shouted back.

Seth Wenig / AP

As South Florida cities begin to reopen, some are turning to antibody tests to keep tabs on the spread of COVID-19 among workers.

Life is beginning to approach something of a 'new normal' as the state of Florida swings into full phase one of reopening. 

Miami-Dade and Broward County officially began reopening on Monday. The rest of the state started allowing restaurants and stores to operate at 25 percent earlier this month.

This full phase one reopening means restaurants and retail stores are permitted to open at 50 percent capacity. Gyms can also operate with social distancing in place. For now, though, they're still closed in Miami-Dade and Broward.

Minrex de Cuba

COMMENTARY

So, South Florida Cold War warriors, we hear you took offense at the commie claptrap coming out of Cuba this week.

Obtained by the Miami Herald

Last month immigration rights groups sued the federal government to release migrants in South Florida detention centers because of the risks of infection from the new coronavirus. That’s what a U.S. judge is now ordering the Trump Administration to do.

South Florida Not Included In Governor's Plan To Reopen Florida

Apr 29, 2020
Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida will start lifting stay-at-home orders starting Monday.

In a plan he’s labeling, “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step,” DeSantis said Wednesday that the state will take a “very slow and methodical approach” to reopening in order to convince the public it’s safe.

The orders won’t apply to Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, however, where the epidemic has hit hardest. 


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