Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Ed. Note — Sunburn will be taking the day off tomorrow. Don’t worry, fans, the hottest morning tip sheet in Florida politics will be back in your inbox (and online) on Monday. Have a great weekend and stay safe!
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday outlined the state’s plan to distribute coronavirus vaccines across the state once they become available.
In a video message, the Governor outlined the recent pharmacological breakthroughs in the fight against the pandemic, including two promising vaccine candidates and a therapy made by Eli Lilly that prevents the virus from latching onto cells.
The potential vaccines, developed independently by Pfizer and Moderna, have been more than 90% effective in clinical trials. Both companies are preparing to apply for emergency approval from the FDA.
There are some complicating factors, however.
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at 70 degrees below zero. DeSantis said the state has identified five hospital systems that are equipped for the job: Jackson Memorial Hospital, Memorial Healthcare System, Tampa General Hospital, Advent Health and UF Health Jax. The Moderna candidate doesn’t have any exotic storage requirements, but it is expected to trail the Pfizer offering by several weeks.
Though DeSantis said the state has been “actively planning” for this scenario since July, securing millions of syringes, needles and alcohol swabs, he tempered expectations on vaccine supply — the federal government estimates there will be enough vaccine for roughly 20 million Americans by the end of December.
DeSantis’ video expressed an optimistic turnaround time after the vaccines are given the green light: “Millions of doses are ready to ship as we speak. As soon as the FDA approves, they will then go out within the next 24 hours. We expect our hospitals, hopefully, to receive these within the next three to six weeks. It is all contingent on when the FDA approves.”
He said CVS and Walgreens will start getting vaccines to administer in long-term care facilities at around the same time as hospitals.
The mandate-averse Governor closed on brand, saying the state won’t require anyone to get inoculated despite the vaccines being “probably the greatest rays of hope we have seen since the pandemic began.”
— 901,234 FL residents (+8,882 since Wednesday)
— 13,099 Non-FL residents (+203 since Wednesday)
— 8,366 Travel related
— 344,695 Contact with a confirmed case
— 9,627 Both
— 538,546 Under investigation
— 52,865 in FL
— 18,030 in FL
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“Trump summons Michigan GOP leaders for extraordinary meeting” via Ed White, David Eggert and Zeke Miller of The Associated Press
“The pandemic is as bad as it’s ever been” via Axios
“The end of the pandemic is now in sight” via Sarah Zhang of The Atlantic
“CDC advises Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving” via Marisa Fernandez of Axios
“Seven Governors: Americans need to stay home this Thanksgiving” via The Washington Post
“When Trump was right and many Democrats wrong” via Nicholas Kristoff of The New York Times
“‘Invisible campaign’ and the specter of socialism: Why Cuban Americans fell hard for Trump” via Nora Gamez Torres of the Miami Herald
“Gov. Ron DeSantis shares plans to deliver COVID vaccines, but state will not mandate that Floridians take them” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix
“State won’t talk about the investigation Gov. DeSantis ordered 6 months ago of woeful unemployment system” via Caroline Glenn of the Orlando Sentinel
“Quarantining Rick Scott tests negative again for coronavirus” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Put your masks on, Florida lawmakers” via the Sun-Sentinel editorial board
“Key West to mandate masks in public for everyone over six years old” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“The biggest mistake was when it was decided that the accusations about socialism and communism were not going to be rebuked because they were considered absurd.” — Fernand Amandi, on South Florida’s rightward swing in the 2020 election.
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