Last Call for 2.15.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz announced he was resigning his post to spend more time with his family. He said his departure wouldn’t be “imminent” but a “gradual transition.”

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Vaccinations have overtaken coronavirus infections in daily reports, but greater vaccine availability hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to get Floridians to pay for a phony appointment, Attorney General Ashley Moody said.

“Florida is turning the corner with vaccinations outpacing infections. This is great news, but it would be a mistake to let your guard down now — we need to remain vigilant, not only in preventing the spread of COVID-19 but also in protecting against scams that exploit the pandemic in an effort to steal your money or identity. By becoming familiar with emerging vaccine scams and how to avoid them, we can stop fraudsters and build a Stronger, Safer Florida,” Moody said.

Paid appointments are among the most prevalent scams. The grift usually comes by way of a text or phone call offering to set up a vaccine appointment or expedite access to a vaccine appointment for a fee.

Moody said any offer to get on a waitlist, secure an appointment or expedite access to the vaccine is a scam.

Other scams include in-Home vaccinations through Medicare, callers posing as county health officials or vaccination site representatives and identity theft using vaccination cards.

Currently, Floridians over 65, health care personnel with direct patient contact and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are prioritized to receive a vaccine. The Florida Department of Health will announce any changes to the eligibility criteria.

Anyone who suspects a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1 (866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 1,797,728 FL residents (+3,573 since Sunday)

— 33,260 Non-FL residents (+42 since Sunday)

Origin:

— 14,427 Travel related

— 683,995 Contact with a confirmed case

— 19,675 Both

— 1,079,631 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 76,219 in FL

Deaths:

— 29,434 in FL

Vaccinations:

— 3,490,648 Doses administered

— 2,387,350 Total people vaccinated

— 1,284,052 First dose

— 1,103,298 Series completed (+21,157 since Sunday)

Evening Reads

Support for third U.S. political party at high point” via Jeffrey Jones of Gallup

Matt Gaetz floats Ron DeSantis as 2024 presidential candidate” via Danya Hajjaji of Newsweek

House Republican resolution urges U.S. to boycott 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing” via Brooke Singman of Fox News

Donald Trump impeachment lawyer Michael van der Veen’s home vandalized” via Bill Hutchinson of ABC News

Gov. DeSantis, GOP leaders push ‘big tech’ bill to beef up consumer privacy laws” via Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel

Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s COVID-19 pandemic manager, is resigning” via The Associated Press

Consumers, workers’ rights coalition push back against COVID-19 liability protections” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Florida consumers ‘flabbergasted’ as property insurers push for double-digit rate hikes” via Suzanne Barlyn of Reuters

Amid growing income disparity, Democrats and activists bring awareness to poverty” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

The loneliness of an interrupted adolescence” via Ellen McCarthy of The Washington Post

Quote of the Day

“My kids are 7 and 4. When I started this job, they were 5 and 2. I’ve been in this job for 50% of my younger one’s life.” — FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz, announcing he would resign his post.

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