Wear a mask. That’s it. That’s today’s topper.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@JoeBiden: Speed up the testing.
—@Parscale: Radical protesters, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally. They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering. Thanks to the 1,000s who made it anyway!
—@StormyDaniels: Told ya’ll he exaggerates about the size of things.
—@JaredEMoskowitz: Wear a MASK! Protect your family and mine. #.
—@FrankLuntz: 80% of American voters have a favorable view of wearing masks, including: • 89% of Democrats • 68% of Republicans • 61% of people who strongly approve of President [Donald] Trump’s job performance
—@KeithOlbermann: This is simple. We cannot restart sports now. I would be grateful to be mistaken. I’m not.
—@MattGaetz: A very special Happy Fathers Day to all the stepparents out there. So many of you have reached out to me over the last few days. Thank you. #
I don't know if this is the last @Danielson_Times story to grace the pages+website of the @TB_Times, but Rick's last day was Friday. He's moved on to a sweet new gig. His departure, though, leaves a big hole. https://t.co/bgl5PjSszK
— Charlie Frago (@CharlieFrago) June 20, 2020
— DAYS UNTIL —
NBA training camp — 8; “The Outpost” with Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood premieres — 11; NBA teams travel to Orlando — 15; Major League Soccer will return to action — 16; Disney World Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom to reopen — 19; Disney World Epcot and Hollywood Studios to reopen — 23; Federal taxes due — 23; “Mulan” premieres — 32; TED conference rescheduled — 33; Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” premieres — 39; NBA season restart in Orlando — 39; Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee begins — 56; Florida primaries for 2020 state legislative/congressional races — 57; NBA draft lottery — 62; Indy 500 rescheduled — 62; Republican National Convention begins in Charlotte — 64; Rev. Al Sharpton’s D.C. March — 67; U.S. Open begins — 70; “A Quiet Place Part II” premieres — 74; Rescheduled running of the Kentucky Derby — 75; Rescheduled date for French Open — 97; First presidential debate in Indiana — 102; “Wonder Woman” premieres — 102; Preakness Stakes rescheduled — 103; First vice presidential debate at the University of Utah — 110; NBA season ends (last possible date) — 112; Second presidential debate scheduled at the University of Michigan — 115; NBA draft — 115; Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” premieres — 116; NBA free agency — 118; Third presidential debate at Belmont — 124; 2020 General Election — 134; “Black Widow” premieres — 138; NBA 2020-21 training camp — 141; Florida Automated Vehicles Summit — 148; “No Time to Die” premieres — 155; NBA 2020-21 opening night — 162; “Top Gun: Maverick” premieres — 204; Super Bowl LV in Tampa — 230; New start date for 2021 Olympics — 396; “Jungle Cruise” premieres — 405; “Spider-Man Far From Home” sequel premieres — 501; “Thor: Love and Thunder” premieres — 599; “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” premieres — 641; “Black Panther 2” premieres — 683; “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” sequel premieres — 837.
— CORONA FLORIDA —
The numbers — Nearly 100,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida after state health officials reported 11,365 cases the last three days, including a record 4,049 Saturday. In total, 97,291 people have tested positive, 13,227 have been hospitalized and 3,254 have died. That includes 288 hospitalized and 93 dead non-Floridians. With rising positivity rates topping 10% in recent days, Gov. Ron DeSantis began addressing the growth of new cases Friday, calling it a cause for concern. But he says the new cases are largely among young populations, who are least likely to develop severe symptoms, making lockdowns unnecessary. “It just wouldn’t be appropriate to take some of those actions given that we have a hospital system in good shape,” he said.
America's disastrous pandemic response, in one picture pic.twitter.com/EDxktnqQos
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) June 21, 2020
“Ron DeSantis pivots on COVID-19 surge, says testing doesn’t account for spike” via Arek Sarkissian of POLITICO — DeSantis acknowledged on Saturday that the rising number of new COVID-19 cases in Florida cannot be explained away by an increase in testing, and announced plans to step up enforcement of social distancing practices in bars and nightclubs. Just earlier this week, when the state logged nearly 2,800 COVID-19 cases, DeSantis attributed the spike to increased testing among migrant farmworkers and in low-income communities. Even with more evidence of community spread, DeSantis refrained from requiring that people to wear masks in public. The state has endorsed the mask-use guidelines set by the CDC in May but DeSantis argues a broad mandate would be impossible to enforce.
—“DeSantis eyes bars, restaurants but stays the course” via Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida
“Chamber poll finds Florida approves of DeSantis coronavirus response; mixed on effectiveness” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat — Floridians overwhelmingly approve of DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey this month by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. That same poll indicates a majority of respondents believe the state’s economy will improve over the next six months. When asked whether they approved or disapproved of DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19, 57% of respondents approved but they split over whether the restrictions put in place during the health emergency were “just about right” (46%) or not “not restrictive enough” (44%).
Assignment editors — Florida Democrats and Hispanic leaders, including Rep. Javier Fernández, Natascha Otero-Santiago of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, former DHCF President Claudia Mendoza, LULAC Political Director Cramer Verde and HD 118 candidate Ricky Junquera, will hold a joint news call demanding Gov. DeSantis apologize to the Hispanic community for his latest comments blaming them for the increase in coronavirus in Florida, 1 p.m. Media can RSVP here.
“First Florida teen dies from coronavirus, state health department says” via Paola Pérez of the Orlando Sentinel — A 17-year-old boy from Pasco County was the first reported fatality of a minor from coronavirus in the state of Florida, according to the state health department. The teenager’s death was among 40 new deaths confirmed Saturday. His case was counted by the state on April 18. As of June 21, nearly 6,000 Florida kids under the age of 18 have been infected with COVID-19 since March 1. About half of them are in the 12-18 age group.
“‘All individuals should wear masks,’ Florida Department of Health issues recommendation” via CBS Miami — The Florida Department of Health issued a Public Health Advisory on Saturday in response to increased COVID-19 cases in the state. The advisory provides several recommendations including that individuals in Florida should wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible. All individuals over the age of 65 and all individuals of any age with high-risk health conditions should limit personal interactions outside of the home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19, according to the advisory. All individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 50 people.
“Florida changes ICU reporting” via Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida — Amid a surge in Florida coronavirus cases, DeSantis‘ administration is changing the guidelines for hospitals’ reporting of intensive-care beds in the state Emergency Status System, or ESS. In a phone call with hospital providers, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said he no longer wants hospitals to report to the state the number of patients in intensive-care unit beds. Instead, Rivkees said he only wants hospitals to report the number of patients in those beds who require what he described as an “intensive level of care.” The change could reduce the numbers of occupied ICU beds reported to the state.
“From coronavirus to hurricanes, 2020 is forcing Broward County’s Jared Moskowitz to become the ‘master of disaster’” via Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Moskowitz, the 39-year-old state emergency management director and Broward County native is quick with a joke, but he knows his job is deadly serious. A native of Coral Springs and a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Moskowitz was first elected to the Florida House in 2012. He’s now the guy in Tallahassee responsible for ensuring that masks get to front-line health care workers. His agency has doled out millions of dollars in emergency contracts to stockpile supplies for the coronavirus pandemic. Moskowitz is preparing for the peak of the hurricane season. Projections indicate this year’s season could be severe, and COVID-19 complicates everything.
“Many complaints but little enforcement for businesses violating coronavirus orders” via Scott Travis and Rebecca Schneid of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Complaints come daily about South Florida businesses flouting laws designed to help protect the public from the coronavirus, but consequences have been rare. Only a few citations have been given out to South Florida businesses that have violated county orders related to social distancing, face coverings or other restrictions enacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now two counties, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, are reconsidering that approach as new COVID-19 cases rise and the number of available hospital beds shrinks.
— CORONA LOCAL —
“Jacksonville plans more test sites as positive test rates jump” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — Two months after Jacksonville City Council approved $35 million to open test sites in “every corner” of Duval County, city officials are still working on plans to open those sites as residents wait in long lines to find out if they are among the recent jump in COVID-19 cases. Duval County’s positive test rate for the virus is sharply on the upswing, driven partly by younger adults seeking testing and learning they caught the virus, even when they only have mild symptoms or don’t notice any changes at all. DeSantis and Mayor Lenny Curry say hospitals are not seeing spikes in patients suffering from the virus.
“After warning of new COVID cases, Miami Mayor ate at busy restaurant that defied rules” via Devoun Cetoute and Martin Vassolo of the Miami Herald — Miami Mayor Francis Suárez held a news conference Monday to “sound to alarms” and “reiterate” the importance of social distancing and wearing facial coverings. Three days later, Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, was seen at a crowded restaurant where guests appear to have violated a host of coronavirus rules as they dined at packed tables, sat too close to other parties and danced without masks. Suarez’s office confirmed the Mayor went to Swan for dinner, but said he was not part of any large gathering.
“Strip clubs, movie theaters start opening in Miami-Dade despite coronavirus trends” via Aaron Leibowitz and Ana Claudia Chacin of the Miami Herald — As Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez and other local officials acknowledge that the novel coronavirus in South Florida may be trending in the wrong direction, the county continues to allow a wide range of businesses to reopen that have been closed since March. That includes strip clubs, at least five of which got county approval to reopen last week after submitting safety plans. Some of their new safety measures include installing hand-sanitizing stations next to their ATMs and requiring all employees to wear masks. At some strip clubs, masks as well as gloves will be required for any performances closer than six feet. Indoor movie theaters are starting to reopen, too.
“‘Grim Reaper’ visits Trump National Doral to warn of continuing COVID-19 risks” via Al Diaz of the Miami Herald — Florida Lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder, continued his “Grim Reaper Beach Tour’ in Miami on Saturday, June 20, visiting the Trump National Doral to raise awareness of skyrocketing news cases of COVID in Florida. Uhlfelder says he has been working for the past several months to get leaders and people, in general, to take COVID-19 seriously because he believes the leaders have ignored the call. Uhlfelder is also angered by the failure to help unemployed workers and small businesses.
— MORE LOCAL —
—“Florida tops 3,400 new cases, more than 200 again in Duval County” via the Florida Times-Union
—“Sarasota and Manatee counties set daily records for coronavirus cases” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“As outbreak hits Brandon nursing home, Congress investigates owner” via Rose Wong of the Tampa Bay Times — One of the nursing home operators being investigated by Congress for its handling of the coronavirus is experiencing major outbreaks at its Florida nursing homes and a deadly outbreak in the Tampa Bay area. Consulate Health Care is one of the five companies that received a letter from House Majority Whip James Clyburn, demanding records about how prepared it was for COVID-19 and how it is caring for infected residents. One of the worst outbreaks was at Consulate Health Care of Brandon, where at least nine residents have died. No less than 36 seniors and 18 employees contracted the disease at the facility.
“Immokalee outbreaks raise Collier Co. cases above 3,000” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — An outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Immokalee skyrocketed Collier County past 3,000. After 105 new cases were reported in the county overnight, the total number of cases sits at 3,097 as of Saturday at 10 a.m. The Immokalee ZIP code, 34142, which lies mostly in Collier County, has a reported 1,245 residents who have tested positive. The data includes every case dating back to the first known coronavirus infection in Florida reported on March 1. Local officials stressed the majority of those are patients who have recovered from the virus. There are plenty of signs the growth has occurred primarily within the migrant farmer community. The median age of those infected has dropped from 43 on June 11 to 35 now.
“What coronavirus? Beaches packed as pent-up vacation demand blossoms” via Jim Thompson of the NWF Daily News — Despite the ongoing threat from COVID-19, it’s back to vacation business as usual, or nearly so, along area beaches, even as the number of COVID-19 cases is rising both locally and across the state. And while local health department officials are urging the use of face masks and social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19, local elected officials are taking a wait-and-see approach to deal with any potential local COVID-19-related fallout from the returning vacation crowds. In Walton County, according to County Commission Chairman Bill Chapman, officials “will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and will continue to focus on the health and safety of our residents, businesses and visitors.”
— CORONA NATION —
“White House adviser says Donald Trump’s call for less coronavirus testing was ‘tongue in cheek’” via Jeanine Santucci of the USA Today — Trump drew widespread criticism when he said at his first rally since the start of coronavirus lockdowns that he wanted testing for the virus to be slowed down, but White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that was “tongue in cheek.” Trump reiterated his argument at his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally on Saturday night that increased coronavirus testing leads to a higher number of cases identified in the United States, calling testing a “double-edged sword.” Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that Trump’s call to slow down testing was in “frustration” over media coverage he said focuses on increased cases rather than the advanced testing.
“CDC coronavirus test kits were likely contaminated, federal review confirms” via David Willman of The Washington Post — The test kits for detecting the nation’s earliest cases of the novel coronavirus failed because of “likely” contamination at the CDC, whose scientists did not thoroughly check the kits despite “anomalies” during manufacturing. The review also said there was “time pressure’’ at the CDC to launch testing, and “lab practices that may have been insufficient to prevent the risk of contamination.’’ The three-page review also acknowledged that, after weeks of delay, the likely contamination ultimately prompted the CDC to jettison a problematic component of the test kit.
“‘They just dumped him like trash:’ Nursing homes evict vulnerable residents” via Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Amy Julia Harris of The New York Times — Nursing homes are kicking out old and disabled residents, among the people most susceptible to the coronavirus, and shunting them into homeless shelters, rundown motels and other unsafe facilities. Many of the evictions, known as involuntary discharges, appear to violate federal rules that require nursing homes to place residents in safe locations and to provide them with at least 30 days’ notice before forcing them to leave. Nursing homes have long had a financial incentive to evict Medicaid patients in favor of those who pay through private insurance or Medicare.
“Despite pandemic, White House will still host Fourth of July event this year” via Kyley Schultz of Tampa Bay 10 — Fourth of July festivities will still take place this year says the White House, despite pushback about health concerns amid the pandemic. The White House announced the “Salute to America” planned celebration will still take place on the South Lawn and the Ellipse on July 4. Beyond music and remarks from the president, the event is also set to have a military flyover and “spectacular fireworks” to go off over the National Mall, similar to 2019’s event. This year, several members of Congress, including Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, wrote a letter expressing concerns that this year’s event would become a health hazard during the pandemic.
“Using hand sanitizer during COVID-19 pandemic? FDA warns these 9 might be toxic” via David J. Neal of the Miami Herald — Though hand sanitizer remains a high demand product in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA issued a warning against nine hand sanitizers as possibly being toxic. All nine, made in Mexico by Eskbiochem SA de CV, might contain methanol also known as wood alcohol. “Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” the FDA warning says. “Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for [a] potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”
— CORONA ECONOMICS —
“Vast federal aid has capped rise in poverty, studies find” via Jason DeParie of The New York Times — An unprecedented expansion of federal aid has prevented the rise in poverty that experts predicted this year when the coronavirus sent unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression, two studies suggest. The assistance could even cause official measures of poverty to fall. The studies carry important caveats. Many Americans have suffered hunger or other hardships amid long delays in receiving the assistance, and much of the aid is scheduled to expire next month. Millions of people have been excluded from receiving any help, especially undocumented migrants, who often have American children.
Happening today — Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper holds a virtual hearing on a possible class-action lawsuit filed against the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting on behalf of people having trouble receiving unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, 1:30 p.m. The Florida Channel will also livestream the hearing. Call-in number: 1-786-635-1003. Access code: 400408. Meeting ID: 97348883423.
— MORE CORONA —
“WHO warns of ‘dangerous phase’ of pandemic as outbreaks widen” via Julie Bosman of The New York Times — Coronavirus cases spiked sharply across the American South and West, particularly in states that loosened restrictions on businesses several weeks ago. Around the country, there were indications that major companies and sports teams were changing their own plans as the new surges emerged. More widespread testing is no doubt playing some role in the increase in the number of known cases. A sobering lesson in the virus’s tenacity came in China, where officials had recently proclaimed that they had vanquished the virus, only to see it surge back in Beijing, the capital. That metropolis, of 21 million people, is facing new restrictions on travel and renewed school closures.
“The whole world is watching America’s failure” via Paul Waldman of The Washington Post — People in other countries are simply gobsmacked at what a terrible job the United States is doing in controlling the novel coronavirus pandemic. Trump likes to say that after he was elected, respect for the United States was restored, but the truth is precisely the opposite. Even before the pandemic, Trump couldn’t have done more to degrade America’s standing than if that was his explicit goal. Just the fact that the United States would elect such a vulgar, ignorant, corrupt buffoon was bad enough. But now our government’s incompetence is helping cause the bodies to pile up and, it would be reasonable for other countries to worry, potentially affecting their own efforts to contain the virus.
“UK to cut 2-meter social distance rule, says health secretary” via James Randerson of POLITICO — The U.K. government will reduce its 2-meter social distancing rule this week, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed, following intense pressure from the hospitality industry that it makes profitable operations impossible. There have been rumors for weeks that the government would ditch the rule in favor of a shorter distance as is the case in several European countries. Pubs and restaurants are due to reopen on July 4, but the industry has warned that keeping customers 2 meters apart to reduce the spread of coronavirus is impossible for many establishments. Peter Piot, the head of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the rule created a “false sense of security.” “I’m pretty relaxed as long as it is associated with mandatory wearing of face masks,” he said.
“Concern throughout NBA grows as coronavirus cases spike in Florida” via Baxter Holmes and Zach Lowe of ESPN — The surging number of coronavirus cases in Florida, which posted a record high Saturday for the third consecutive day, has raised concerns in many corners of the NBA, from players to team executives to the league office itself, as it prepares to resume play in Orlando next month. In at least one recent call with high-level team executives, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has acknowledged the spiking numbers in Florida. Team sources described the general tone of that call, including the questions asked of Silver on it, as tense. Most teams aren’t slated to arrive in Orlando until July 7, 8 or 9.
— SMOLDERING —
“Florida sees rise in background checks for gun purchases” via The Associated Press — More Floridians are considering buying guns, according to state records that show a dramatic rise in the number of background checks its processed since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Florida has processed 30,657 background checks in the week after Floyd’s May 25 death, after a police officer pressed his knee against the black man’s neck. The number of background checks was twice the number for the same period last year. To purchase a gun in Florida, buyers must usually undergo a background check. A week after Floyd’s death, June 1, the state processed 8,597 background checks that day, more than four times higher than the first Monday in June last year.
“Chief judge says he relied on Pinellas sheriff’s word to keep protesters in jail” via Kathryn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times — During the first week of protests against racism and police brutality, the Pinellas County sheriff and the circuit’s top judge came to an agreement that allowed demonstrators to be held in jail overnight without bail. After news about the unusual arrangement broke and blew up on social media Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino this week issued a response. What Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the chief judge the protesters were doing didn’t match the allegations against them. Rondolino more clearly defined the process for bail deviation requests going forward.
“Duval decries hanging mannequin in police uniform” via The Associated Press — Motorists saw a startling scene Saturday morning as they drove along a Florida interstate: a mannequin dressed in a police uniform dangling from a rope at an overpass. Emergency crews in Jacksonville, Florida, were dispatched shortly after 6:20 a.m. to investigate a possible suicide. But when they got there, they discovered a mannequin hanging from an Interstate 95 overpass wearing a pig mask and dressed in what appeared to be a New York City police uniform. The mannequin was removed and authorities launched an investigation. In a statement on Twitter, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams called the incident “extremely disturbing.” He called it an attempt to stoke “anti-police sentiment and drive a divide in our community.”
“Federal lawsuit calls Jacksonville protesters’ arrests illegal and violent” via Andrew Pantazi of The Florida Times-Union — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s arrests on May 31, the first Sunday of protests, were illegal, violent and unconstitutional, a new federal lawsuit argues. The lawsuit points to a mountain of video evidence to say officers indiscriminately arrested people for unlawful assembly or resisting without violence without any evidence that the protesters were actually breaking the law. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams has defended his office’s tactics, telling News4Jax that they were “necessary steps to keep the city safe.”
“Jacksonville-based Florida Blue joins ‘historical fight’ to end racial injustice” via Beth Cravey of The Florida Times-Union — Florida Blue, the state’s largest insurer, has launched a $25 million initiative to address racial injustice by investing in organizations focused on diversity, inclusion and health care equity. The company, along with corporate parent GuideWell and philanthropic arm the Florida Blue Foundation, also formed task force-led Equity Alliance to tackle health care disparities in the Black community. The new initiatives follow the $1.2 million in grants Florida Blue and Guidewell awarded in 2019 to about 80 Black and community development organizations. The $25 million in investments will be made over five years.
“Miami’s Black officers conflicted by protests. They’ve fought racism themselves” via Charles Rabin and David Ovalle of the Miami Herald — During the first demonstrations in downtown Miami against police brutality toward Blacks, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets as squads of officers ringed police headquarters to protect the building. Some marchers threw bottles and rocks. Others hurled curses, some directed specifically at Black faces in the ranks. They were called traitors to their own race. “It’s like an oxymoron. To me, yes, Derek Chauvin, he’s a scumbag. But is there a need for this to be adversarial?” said one veteran officer. Policing while Black always poses its own challenges but more than a half-dozen officers in several Miami-Dade agencies say it’s never been more difficult.
“In America’s oldest city, a reckoning over Confederate past” via Bobba Caina Calvan of the Associated Press — A debate over history is looming, as residents and elected officials join the anguished reckoning over race that is now gripping much of the country. At the center of the debate in St. Augustine is a monument, located in the city’s historic central plaza, memorializing dozens of the city’s sons who died fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The towering structure, which was built in 1879, takes the form of an obelisk jutting into a canopy of oak trees. Inscribed on it are the names of the fallen soldiers.
“Emadi Okwuosa is the 22-year-old protester who embodies the resilience of Tampa’s new BLM movement” via Ray Roa of Creative Loafing — Okwuosa, a 22-year-old USF student, joined his local protest to call for serious police reform and an end to the racial violence that’s been a stain on American history since slaves were brought to these shores centuries ago. Then on June 4, he was arrested after Tampa police deployed pepper spray following what officers describe as an incident where a 17-year-old protester slashed an umbrella at a cop. Okwuosa disagrees with the police’s version of the incident. He says a bike officer started the scuffle by trying to grab the umbrella.
“Ben Crump has become the go-to attorney for racial justice: ‘I feel like I’m running out of time’” via Karen Heller of The Washington Post — Each case Crump takes remains singular, with its own set of horrendous circumstances. Yet a shared mission runs through all of them. Crump turns down a dozen requests for every case he takes, selecting ones that will “shock the conscience” of the American people. In a nation lousy with lawyers, he has become the go-to advocate for families who have lost relatives to police brutality, as if he is the only name on the list. He accomplished this by being fluent in the language of the church, tort law, racial inequality, and what he deems “the mediasphere,” paired with an indefatigable drive to be everywhere.
“NCAA bans championships in states where Confederate flag has a ‘prominent presence’” via Li Cohen of CBS News — The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that NCAA championship events will not be held in states where the Confederate flag has a “prominent presence.” The statement targeted Mississippi, writing that it’s “the only state currently affected by the Association’s policy.” Mississippi has the only state flag that currently includes the Confederate battle emblem. The flag has come under increased scrutiny recently, due to its ties to slavery. The association’s policy previously barred championship events from being awarded in advance to states that prominently displayed the confederate flag. But the policy now covers “nonpredetermined” championship events, where a team earned the right to host a game based on their tournament seeding or ranking, too.
“Former Florida State football player creates petition to rename Doak Campbell Stadium” via Wayne McGhee III of the Tallahassee Democrat — Florida State’s football stadium has sported the same name for 70 years. But that name is now being called into question. Doak S. Campbell Stadium was named after FSU’s first president in 1950. Campbell oversaw the transition FSU made from the Florida State College for Women in 1947, in addition to the building of the stadium. Former FSU linebacker Kendrick Scott has created a petition to remove Campbell’s name from the stadium due to Campbell’s pro-segregation stance while he was president at FSU. The stadium is not the first FSU building to come under fire due to this issue.
— D.C. MATTERS —
What Marco Rubio is reading — “Trump cold on Guaido, would consider meeting Maduro” via Jonathan Swan via Axios — In an Oval Office interview with Axios on Friday, President Trump suggested he’s had second thoughts about his decision to recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela and said he is open to meeting with dictator Nicolás Maduro… Trump also indicated he doesn’t have much confidence in Guaidó, who has failed to wrest control of the Venezuelan government despite support from the U.S. and dozens of other countries.
Happening today — Rep. Ted Deutch joins other members of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families for an online roundtable discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes, noon, facebook.com/AgingandFamiliesTaskForce.
“Matt Gaetz describes himself as ‘single stepparent’ to Nestor Galban” via Paul V. Fontelo of Roll Call — Hours after making a surprise announcement on his personal Twitter account that he had a son, Gaetz continued to tout his family in the press and on his own podcast. Gaetz repeatedly referred to 19-year-old Galban as his son but stops short of saying he had formally adopted him. “Our relationship as a family is defined by our love for each other, not by any paperwork,” he said. He would later elaborate on that in his podcast. In the podcast, Gaetz said Galban spends time with his sister, Gaetz’s family and with Gaetz. He refers to questions about why he does not have adoption paperwork and says: “He’s 19 years old now. Our family was never defined by paperwork or blood. It was truly defined by the love we have for each other.”
— STATEWIDE —
“Video shows police escorting Nikki Fried’s fiance from resort” via David Smiley and Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald — Police were called just before 1 a.m. to the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort about a “trespassing/disturbance” involving Nikki Fried and Robert “Jake” Bergmann, according to a June 13 Fort Lauderdale Police report. Police body camera footage shows that when police arrived, a security guard standing outside a Mexican restaurant located on the resort grounds told them a man staying at the hotel had thrown a trash can at a female companion during an argument. The two then got into a car and drove off, running over a curb and getting a flat tire, he said. The security guard, Robert Kane, wasn’t sure who was driving. But he told police he knew that Fried is “the freaking agriculture commissioner.”
To watch the video, click on the image below:
“Governor approves e-bike bill” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — Floridians will soon be able to ride e-bikes on roads, sidewalks and paths, anywhere regular bikes are allowed. Ron DeSantis signed legislation defining electric bikes and protecting home rule for communities that wish to regulate them. The bill establishes three tiers of electric bicycles based on what speed the motor cuts out and whether a rider must actively pedal for the motor to issue power. Under existing law, electric bikes are limited to 15 mph. Existing law also blocks anyone under the age of 16 from operating an electric bike, a restriction eliminated in the legislation. The bill would also create a statewide framework for e-bikes that would make it easier for bike share or rental companies to do business in Florida.
“DeSantis signs bill on school bus safety” via Jim Saunders of Florida Politics — Continuing to gradually finish the work of this year’s legislative session, DeSantis on Saturday signed 21 bills, including measures aimed at improving school-bus safety and preventing bear poaching. The school-bus safety bill will increase penalties for motorists who drive improperly when buses are stopped to load and unload children. In part, it would increase from $100 to $200 the minimum penalty for motorists who fail to stop for school buses and would double from $200 to $400 the minimum penalty for motorists who pass stopped school buses on the side where children enter and exit, according to a House staff analysis.
“New Florida law will ban pelvic exams without consent” via Brendan Farrington of The Associated Press — Doctors and medical students won’t be able to perform pelvic exams on unconscious patients without their informed consent under a bill signed by DeSantis. The new law that goes into effect July 1 also bans doctors and health care practitioners from inseminating a woman or implanting an embryo using their own reproductive material. The bill was a priority for Democratic Sen. Lauren Book, who has spent her adult life trying to protect people from sexual abuse. Book said she was horrified to learn the exams are performed on women under anesthesia as a teaching tool for medical students, unbeknown to patients. She said no woman should have her vagina examined without her consent, regardless of the intent.
“DeSantis signs bill to tighten penalties against bear poaching” via The Associated Press — Black bears, once a threatened species in Florida, will get stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance. DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures. The bill was among a slate of 21 pieces of legislation the governor signed Saturday. Under the new rules, which go into effect July 1, the minimum fine for bear poaching would rise to $750 from $500. Hunting licenses could also be suspended for three years, instead of the current yearlong maximum.
“DeSantis signs bill protecting split land inheritances” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — DeSantis has signed legislation intended to keep long-held property within a deceased owner’s family even if they lacked a proper will. Current Florida law allows for any heirs in cases without a clear will to request the property be partitioned and force a sale. Real estate speculators use this loophole by targeting an unwitting heir, often a low-income individual, to property kept within a family for decades or centuries, ultimately purchasing the property below market value, says Sen. Randolph Bracy, the bill’s sponsor. The bill would give notice to other heirs when one wants to split or sell the land and have an independent body appraise the land value.
“Behavioral health advocates hope to outlast budget slashes” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — Behavioral health advocates fear budget cuts from the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse progress revitalizing the state’s mental health programs following the 2008 recession. The Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA), led by President and CEO Melanie Brown-Woofter, is tracking funding integral to its partners’ services and fears they could get the ax. But behavioral health providers have had an ally in the Governor’s Office in First Lady Casey DeSantis, an ardent supporter who has already pioneered mental health initiatives in the Sunshine State during her husband’s year and a half in office. Some of those efforts have addressed the mental health of first responders, highlighted during the pandemic.
— LOBBY REGS —
New and renewed lobbying registrations:
Albert Balido, Anfield Consulting: Estate of Hilda Medrano
Matt Bryan, Thomas Griffin, Teye Reeves, Smith Bryan & Myers: The Krome Groves Land Trust
Shawn Foster, Sunrise Consulting Group: Florida Academy of Pain Medicine
Matthew Martello, Dan Polesovsky: Indivior
Steven Marin, Marin and Sons: Inter Miami CF
Cissy Proctor, LSN Partners: AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation
Fred Karlinsky, Greenberg Traurig: WePayMore Funding
Sheela VanHoose, The Southern Group: Florida Scholastic Esports League
“Donald Trump rally fizzles as attendance falls short of campaign’s expectations” via Michael D. Shear, Maggie Haberman and Astead W. Herndon of The New York Times — Trump’s attempt to revive his reelection campaign sputtered badly on Saturday night as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months and found a far smaller crowd than his aides had promised him, then delivered a disjointed speech that did not address the multiple crises facing the nation or scandals battering him in Washington. Trump was furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium. The Drudge Report, a reliably conservative website, carried an all-caps headline that said “MAGA LESS MEGA” with a picture of rows and rows of empty blue seats.
“TikTok Teens and K-pop fans say they sank Trump rally” via Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning and Sheera Frenkel of The New York Times — Trump’s campaign promised huge crowds at his rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday, but it failed to deliver. Hundreds of teenage TikTok users and K-pop fans say they’re at least partially responsible. Brad Parscale, the chairman of Trump’s reelection campaign, posted on Twitter that the campaign had fielded more than a million ticket requests, but reporters at the event noted the attendance was lower than expected. The campaign also canceled planned events outside the rally for an anticipated overflow crowd that did not materialize. TikTok users and fans of Korean pop music groups claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets for Trump’s campaign rally as a prank.
New ad via the Trump campaign — “Fortitude”:
“Joe Biden outraises Trump with $80.8 million in May” via Elena Schneider and Zach Montellaro — Biden raised more money than Trump last month, setting a record high one-month total, raking in $80.8 million. But the presumptive Democratic nominee still has a long way to go in catching up to Trump’s war chest. At the end of April, Democrats had approximately $100 million in cash reserves. Neither Trump nor Biden have yet submitted fundraising filings covering the month of May to the nation’s chief campaign finance watchdog; those are due by midnight Saturday. May was the first full month Biden, who clinched the Democratic nomination in early June, raised money in tandem with the DNC, a joint fundraising agreement that allowed individual donors to give more than $620,000. Trump has had a joint fundraising effort with the RNC for months.
“Trump allies see a mounting threat: Biden’s rising evangelical support” via Gabby Orr of POLITICO — Allies of Trump worry his 2020 opponent, Biden, can do the same as Barack Obama did in his 2008 campaign, snatching a slice of a critical voting bloc from Trump when he can least afford departures from his base. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, has performed better in recent polling among white evangelicals, and other religious groups, than Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and is widely perceived as more religious than the current White House occupant. This polling result is happening even though many conservative evangelical leaders have argued that Biden’s positions on cultural issues — like abortion, judges and religious freedom — are disqualifying.
“Tom Petty estate issues cease and desist over Trump’s use of song” via Laura Snapes of The Guardian — The family of Petty has issued a formal cease and desist letter to the Trump campaign over its use of his song I Won’t Back Down at a rally in Tulsa on 20 June. In a statement posted on Twitter, family members said the US president was “in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense left behind.” They said the late musician and his family “firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would not want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
What Mike Haridopolos is reading — “Trump Space Coast boat parade draws enormous fleet of watercraft to Intracoastal Waterway” via Rick Neale of Florida Today — Seen from Cocoa Village, the approaching Trump boat parade looked like a countless mass of vessels and white water across the Indian River, stretching from one end of the distant Beachline Expressway bridge to the other. Socks and perhaps 200 spectators watched the massive Trump boat parade pass from the Lee Wenner Park shoreline. Starting at 11 a.m. from the power lines north of State Road 528, the colorful Trump flotilla motored southward down the Indian River to Dragon Point. That’s where most boaters planned to turn around the southernmost tip of Merritt Island and head back north up the Banana River to the Barge Canal.
— CONVENTION COUNTDOWN —
“Trump’s GOP convention in Jacksonville carries big risks amid coronavirus and protests” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — The announcement that the Republican National Convention was coming to Florida in August was supposed to be a slam dunk win for DeSantis and the state GOP. But it came just as Florida began seeing a stretch of record single-day numbers of new coronavirus cases — and Jacksonville, the site of the convention, was the scene of some of the most troubling examples of the virus hitting restaurants and bars. The party’s decision to move most of the RNC from Charlotte with less than three months to go was already a risky gambit. But could holding such a massive event backfire in the middle of the pandemic and with nationwide demonstrations against police brutality?
“Potter’s House founder Vaughn McLaughlin ‘shocked’ to see his name on GOP convention host committee” via David Bauerlein of First Coast News — A day after the Jacksonville host committee for the Republican National Convention announced 32 members, McLaughlin of Potter’s House said he was shocked to find out he was on the list and said he never agreed to be on the committee. After McLaughlin delivered his comments in a Facebook post, the host committee said McLaughlin had committed to be on the committee but would remove him from the list if he is not interested in continuing in that role. “Everybody who knows me knew that I said I would not be on that committee,” McLaughlin said in a video message posted to Facebook. “I did not consent to be on that welcoming committee.” McLaughlin said he is not a supporter of Trump or the Republican convention.
“The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island reports 638 layoffs, work-hour reductions” via Mark Masch of the Jacksonville Daily Record — The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. filed a notice with state and local officials reporting temporary layoffs or reductions in hours for 638 of the 649 employees at its Amelia Island resort hotel. The Ritz-Carlton, which filed its notice June 2, joins two other major Northeast Florida hotels that filed layoff notices in the first week of June under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. All three hotels are likely to receive a large number of visitors during the Aug. 24-27 convention.
— MORE FROM THE TRAIL —
Florida Democrats hit voter outreach milestone — The Florida Democratic Party’s organizing team of volunteers contacted 1 million voters last week by phone and text, which averages 142,857 voters each day. According to an email from FDP Executive Director Juan Peñalosa, since “the narrowest of margins” decides Florida, this voter outreach is critical to a Joe Biden victory in November. “Earlier this year we surpassed the milestone of 5 million registered Democrats in Florida, increasing the margin of Democratic registered voters over 2018,” Peñalosa wrote.
Judson Sapp takes the ‘Gator Bait’ — The University of Florida won’t endorse the ‘Gator Bait’ cheer anymore, but a Republican candidate for Congress has no problem with the stadium taunt. Sapp, running in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, distributed orange-and-blue yard signs and went too far as to record a robocall with the words “Gator Bait” featured prominently. University of Florida President Kent Fuchs made headlines for banning the phrase at games because of historic racist undertones, leading many to learn how minority children had once been used as literal bait. But Sapp postures the censorship as political correctness. Sharing a social media meme with the Petty lyric “I won’t back down,” Sapp promises he “won’t back down to liberals in Florida or in Washington.”
“Well, this poll shows Heather Fitzenhagen with a double-digit lead on Ray Rodrigues” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Fort Myers Republican Fitzenhagen may start a Senate race in a better position than conventional wisdom may suggest. A Remington Research Group poll shows Fitzenhagen with a 10% lead over primary opponent Rodrigues. The survey, conducted on June 18 and 19 among likely Republican primary voters, found 34% of primary voters would vote for Fitzenhagen if the election were held today, while 24% would back Rodrigues. About 42% remain undecided. That puts Fitzenhagen’s lead outside the poll’s 4.5% margin of error. “These numbers are why incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson and the political establishment are scared,” a polling memo reads. “Not only do their endorsements mean nothing in this race, their hand-anointed candidate, Ray Rodrigues, is embarrassingly behind.”
Christian Ulvert joins Javier Fernandez’s Senate campaign — Veteran communications consulting and Democratic operative Ulvert is now political and communications adviser to Rep. Fernandez in his bid for SD 39. “I’m excited to join Rep. Fernandez’s battle-tested campaign team as we work to elect a strong Democrat and proven leader to the state Senate. This is a crucial cycle for our party and with Rep. Fernandez’s record of fighting for Floridians, we can flip this key seat in November,” said Ulvert, who has worked with clients such as Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, former Mayor Philip Levine and later Andrew Gillum in his bid for Governor. Also, Ron Bilbao is serving as campaign manager and Dan Newman is the general consultant.
“Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy casts star lineup for Margaret Good event” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — With an event themed around LGBTQ rights, Kirdahy will bring together a lineup of stars of stage and activism. The marquis talent includes Sarah Silverman, Tony Goldwyn, Dan Bucatinsky, Matthew Lopez and Anthony Chatmon II, who will provide a “musical moment” at the event. Chatmon starred in a Kirdahy-produced Broadway production of Hadestown. Major players in the fight for equality will also hold featured roles at the event. Roberta Kaplan, who represented plaintiff Edie Windsor in a landmark Supreme Court case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, will be among spotlighted guests. So will Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. The event will be June 30 and held over Zoom.
—“Meet Tony Tsonis, a Democrat running for House District 48” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics
Epilogue — “Mark Foley to close congressional campaign account, donate money to charity” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — The news was first flagged by Noah Pransky of NBC LX. Foley told Pransky the remaining money will go toward local charities. Foley had faced questions in recent years about the funds still remaining in that account, “Friends of Mark Foley for Congress.” In 2018, the FEC pledged to conduct additional reviews of so-called “zombie” campaign accounts. Last year, Foley was also one of 50 campaigns to receive an FEC letter asking whether those accounts were truly “winding down.” Foley previously said he was keeping that account open for a potential congressional run once reapportionment occurs following the 2020 Census.
— TOP OPINION —
“Trump’s rally looked like his vision of America. Limited and pitiless.” via Robin Givhan of The Washington Post — When he emerged into the light, Trump walked into the cheering embrace of a mostly unmasked crowd bedecked in red Trump hats and MAGA T-shirts, along with the occasional QAnon tank top and “Don’t Tread on Me” pullover. It’s tempting to say it was a crowd that didn’t look anything like America because it appeared to be so lacking in diversity — so overwhelmingly white. But, in fact, the crowd looked precisely like America does in more than a few suburbs, counties and hollers. Such a homogenous throng might be jarring to some. For others, it’s completely normal and right. For the President, it was like coming home.
— OPINIONS —
“Florida shrugs off COVID threat to us oldsters” via Fred Grimm of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — DeSantis and the governors of 20 other states where COVID-19 infections have been increasing over the last few weeks are not about to admit they reopened their respective economies before the pandemic was under control. Last month, in an argument about how Florida’s death rates are skewed by an overabundance of retirees, DeSantis dredged up the old joke characterizing Florida as “God’s waiting room.” Apparently, DeSantis wouldn’t mind shortening the wait. The demographic most threatened by coronavirus is not only expendable but a costly drag on the economy.
“Florida’s unemployment rate is wrong. Here’s why” via the Tampa Bay Times editorial board — The latest state jobs numbers are misleading in some cases and flat-out wrong in others. More people were employed in May, but a higher percentage of returning workers were still looking for work, which caused the unemployment rate to rise. In some ways that’s not so bad. An expanding labor force signals that people feel confident they can find work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conceded that in recent months it misclassified people as “employed, but absent from work,” instead of “unemployed, on temporary furlough,” a hiccup that stems from how the crisis quickly altered the job status of millions of workers nationwide. Plus, about 800,000 people in Florida are still missing from the workforce compared to February because they aren’t looking for a job.
— TODAY’S SUNRISE —
Gov. DeSantis is asking the media — and the public — to stop focusing all its attention on the huge spike in COVID-19 cases over the past week.
Also, on today’s Sunrise:
— What it actually means: We’ve now had so many new cases that even DeSantis admits we have community spread of coronavirus. However, he says it’s not that bad, because most of the new victims are young adults, who are far less likely to die than seniors.
— Despite the surge of cases, The Governor is refusing to impose any sort of statewide mandate for the use of protective masks in public. Nevertheless, he says local officials are free to do so. And they are.
— Also, DeSantis believes the state will get serious about cracking down on those bars and restaurants that pack people, refusing to honor capacity limits intended to ensure social distancing.
— Florida’s jobless rate in May hit 14.5% — the highest on record. There are now 1.4 million Floridians on the official unemployment list. On the plus side, the state added more than 180,000 jobs in May. Although, more accurately, the state recovered those jobs. They are not “new.”
— A check-in with Florida Man, who decided to show off his assault rifle to a friend without checking the chamber first. “What, are you going to shoot me?” the friend asked. You can guess the rest.
To listen, click on the image below:
— INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY —
View this post on Instagram
— ALOE —
“In the fight for equality, the NBA can be a symbol and an inspiration — not a distraction” via Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post — It is a wonderful and unselfish sentiment that some NBA players, with so much money at stake, are worried their return to action will be a distraction. It is also a rather facile concern, a frustratingly binary way to think. The notion of the NBA’s return being a momentum-killing distraction creates an assumption that the nation will be in the same place in six weeks as it is now, with daily protests, consistent dialogue and unrelenting pressure to tear down every tangible sign of racism that supporters of this budding movement can see. But a mass audience, no matter how determined, has seldom displayed such endurance.
“What to expect from Apple’s online-only WWDC 2020” via Chris Velazco of Engadget — Apple’s once-massive conference has gone online-only this year, beginning with a livestreamed keynote. It appears that Apple is getting ready to change some of the most basic facets of the iOS experience. Apple may be working on a “mention” system for iMessage so you can nudge specific people in your group chat, as well as the ability to retract your messages after you’ve sent them. If there’s one bit of news to keep your eyes peeled for at WWDC, though, it’s Apple’s rumored switch to ARM-based processors. Apple may also announce a cheaper version of its HomePod speaker.
“Disney Plus no longer offers free trial accounts, ahead of ‘Hamilton’ premiere” via Todd Spangler of Variety — Disney has ended the free seven-day promotional trial for Disney Plus, with the company saying it doesn’t need to dangle freebies to lure new customers to the streaming service. As of early May, Disney Plus had signed up 54.5 million subscribers worldwide just six months after its launch. The move by Disney Plus to stop giving away trial accounts comes ahead of the July 3 premiere of “Hamilton,” the movie based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical, about a year before it was originally scheduled to play in theaters. Meanwhile, on a stand-alone basis, Hulu, which is controlled by Disney, still offers free trials of varying lengths.
“COVID-19 quarantine fun: homebound because of pandemic, family dressed up for 60 days in costume” via Jennifer Sangalang of Florida Today — It was mid-April, a month into the coronavirus pandemic, when 39-year-old Heather Zipser, a mom from Indian Harbour Beach, coaxed her husband, Jeff, 40, and their twin 9-year-old boys Samy and Toby to “do something fun for quarantine.” “We’re a big Halloween family. That’s the biggest holiday in our house,” Zipser said. So, for 60 days, every day was Halloween for the Zipsers, complete with DIY costumes and photos posted on social media. They called it “quarantheme dinners.” The costumes ranged from the “Wizard of Oz” to the weather. Some were naturally easy (the family wasn’t shy about reusing costumes from years past), while others took some creativity.
— HAPPY BIRTHDAY —
Happy belated birthday to Michele Cavallo of Duke Energy, Gia Porras-Ferrulo, Matt Harringer, Anthony Katchuk, Todd Josko of Ballard Partners, Shannon Love, Ed Miyagishima, congressional candidate Leo Valentin, Courtney Bense Weatherford, and Bill Young. Celebrating today are Speaker-to-be Danny Perez and Drew Weatherford.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, A.G. Gancarski, Renzo Downey and Drew Wilson.