Last Call for 7.29.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

The Summer 2020 edition of INFLUENCE Magazine is here.

You won’t find any mission accomplished banners in this edition. Still, you will discover harrowing tales of how agency leaders and lawmakers are doing their jobs in unprecedented times and how Florida’s political class is rising to the occasion. There’s some much-needed levity mixed in as well, so you might even crack a smile.

It’s worth reading in its entirety, of course, but if you’re struggling on where to start, here’s a rundown of some of the best reads in this edition of INFLUENCE:

— Running the Division of Emergency Management in a hurricane-prone state is no easy task. Add in a global pandemic, and one could make the case that DEM Director Jared Moskowitz has the toughest gig outside of the Governor’s mansion. INFLUENCE looks at how he’s handled the crisis with all eyes on him.

— The coronavirus pandemic has been as much an economic crisis as it has been a public health one. Adding insult to injury, the state unemployment system collapsed in Floridians’ hour of need. INFLUENCE recounts how lawmakers across the state worked overtime to get unemployment checks to jobless Floridians.

— There’s been a torrent of bad news over the past four months, but there’s a silver lining: Florida lawmakers, trade associations and businesses have stepped up to help those in need. From AT&T and HCA to Sen. Randolph Bracy and Rep. Randy Fine, INFLUENCE chronicles their “Epic Responses” to the crisis.

— For office workers, the shutdown meant working from home. It took some adjusting, but it wasn’t without its benefits — professionals quickly learned that, with a little camera work, Zoom meetings allow for a lax dress code. INFLUENCE captures the “business on top, quarantine on the bottom” phenom with an album’s worth of influencers in their #COVIDwear.

— #COVIDwear aside, the WFH life isn’t for everyone. Old-school leaders worry about productivity when they can’t walk the office floor, and employees can struggle with work-life balance and even get the blues. Ron Sachs outlines the steps businesses and workers alike can take to make the best of the situation, and maybe even emerge from these uncharted waters stronger and more resilient than ever.


Sen. Rob Bradley has tested positive for coronavirus, he told Florida Politics on Wednesday.

Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, said he woke up in the middle of the night last night with a fever and tested positive for the virus today. He said he is “generally not feeling right.”

He said he is self-isolating and doesn’t know how he contracted the virus, adding that he has not been anywhere “out of the ordinary.”

Bradley says his wife, Jennifer Bradley, was also tested for coronavirus but her test came back negative. Jennifer Bradley is a candidate for Senate District 5, the seat currently held by Rob Bradley.

The Senate Appropriations Chair is the first state Senator to test positive, but he is not the first member of the Florida Legislature to contract the virus.

Last week, Brevard County Rep. Randy Fine announced he had coronavirus and that his wife and sons had also tested positive.

Earlier this month, West Park Rep. Shevrin Jones tested positive for the virus. His parents and older brother later tested positive as well. Jones has since recovered.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 446,251 FL residents (+9,384 since Tuesday)

— 5,172 Non-FL residents (+62 since Tuesday)


— 3,546 Travel related

— 119,168 Contact with a confirmed case

— 3,539 Both

— 319,998 Under investigation


— 25,499 in FL


— 6,457 in FL

Unemployment numbers

As of Tuesday:

Total claims: 3,365,774

— Confirmed unique claims: 3,164,314

— Claim verification queue: 78,401

— Claims processed: 3,085,913

— Claims paid: 1,806,675 (+5,530 since Monday)

Total paid out: $12.05 billion (+$90 million since Monday)

Evening Reads

Misinformation on the virus is proving highly contagious” via David Klepper of The Associated Press

At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masksvia Griff Witte, Ariana Eunjung Cha and Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post

GOP Rep. Louis Gohmert tests positive for coronavirus” via Axios

Ron DeSantis says he was tested for COVID-19 at White House visit” via Isaac Morgan of Florida Phoenix

A viral epidemic splintering into deadly pieces” via Donald G. McNeil Jr. of The New York Times

Jill Biden shares heartwarming details of her life with the former Vice President” via Spencer Fordin of Florida Politics

DeSantis: Child care doesn’t spread COVID-19, so schools should be fine” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

DeSantis should cancel school opening order, says petition signed by 32,000” via Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel

Three Florida universities among Top 10 with coronavirus cases” via Divya Kumar of the Tampa Bay Times

At least 54 hospitals have reached ICU capacity in Florida” via Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt of CNN

COVID-19 death toll continues to pummel Central Florida” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Florida sets another daily record for deaths, including 4 in Northeast Florida” via Emily Bloch of the Florida Times-Union

Jacksonville’s daily coronavirus caseload continues to slow” via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics

South Florida sees record 77 deaths as region nears 200K COVID-19 cases” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Who should get a coronavirus vaccine first?” via Lena H. Sun of The Washington Post

DeSantis looks to get workers back on job faster” via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida

An extra $600 a week kept many jobless workers afloat. Now what will they do?” via Patricia Cohen, Ben Casselman and Gillian Friedman of The New York Times

Florida remains solidly in the cone of uncertainty for developing tropical storm” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Latest poll: Ray Rodrigues crushing Heather Fitzenhagen in SD 27 GOP primary” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Irv Slosberg calls Tina Polsky a ‘liar,’ while Polsky pushes back against ‘patronizing and demeaning’ attacks in SD 29 debate” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“There’s some major parts of the country that went virtual, and you have like huge percentages of students (who) never logged on once since mid-March, and you just wonder, what’s that going to mean as we go months and years ahead? That’s going to be very difficult to put that genie back in the bottle.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, advocating for a return to in-person education.

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One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 30, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Think out of the box please! We have a calendar of 365 days a year 🎶! Everyone of those days can and should be used to educate our children! Think 6 weeks at a time for school! Curriculums have been set up like that for years! Give the public the information! It takes a village to raise a child!

Comments are closed.


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