Newest installment of Jose Oliva newsletter tackles backyard haircuts, mask requirements
Photo: Colin Hackley.

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One link scrutinizes basement 'performances' by Chris Cuomo and Joe Biden.

An email of links undermining the severity of the coronavirus crisis did not take Sunday morning off.

The newest installment of Florida House Speaker José Oliva’s daily newsletter on the pandemic landed in inboxes this morning. In addition to daily updates on the continued flattening of the curve, a trend that can now be seen nationwide and in Europe, the email continues to compare crisis-to-date numbers on COVID-19 to the 10-year CDC average on seasonal flu impacts.

The newsletter also includes links to punditry on the virus ranging from mainstream conservative media like The Wall Street Journal opinion section to a Real Clear Politics spotlight on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ speech on how Florida defied predictions it would become the next Italy.

The Sunday installment included three links to The Federalist, a stridently conservative blog. Those selections include one piece condemning the ACLU for not doing enough to fight lockdowns, one accusing CNN host Chris Cuomo and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of unnecessarily performing from their basements with remote video, and one from a pundit defiantly refusing to report his neighbor for getting a haircut.

“We don’t need a state-driven crackdown on people living their lives and we certainly don’t need citizens looking over their shoulders waiting to be sold down the river by fretful neighbors,” reads a featured excerpt of the latter, by The Federalist’s New York correspondent, David Marcus. “So, f no. I will not be telling on neighbors who cut hair, or throw a small BBQ, or sit on their stoops without social distancing, or let their kids play together in the park. That is not a door that should ever be opened in a free society.”

The newsletter also includes four links to commentary from the libertarian Reason Foundation, including a piece claiming state government bailouts would reward fiscal mismanagement. It also includes a condemnation of the federal government for not accepting help from the private sector. Another questions if the Federal Aviation Administration has the authority to require passengers to wear masks on flights, and yet another asserting defenders of the education status quo are ignoring positive lessons from the pandemic about the benefits of homeschooling.

The emails, credited to Oliva, continue to come from the official Office of the Speaker. The House Speaker also served on the Re-Open Florida Task Force, as does Senate President Bill Galvano, his counterpart in the Legislature’s upper Chamber.

The daily blasts have established Oliva as the most prominent state official in Florida questioning the wisdom of lockdown orders, which links in previous newsletters have called “economic suicide” and “pointless and criminal.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]



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