Last Call for 8.16.21 — 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 younger a COVID-19 patient is, the less likely there’s a bad outcome, statistically speaking.

But is caring for this younger bout of COVID-19 patients harder on hospital staff?

Gov. Ron DeSantis thinks so, according to statements he made while speaking to reporters Monday about the state’s worn-out doctors and nurses currently treating a record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

“This 2021 summer wave, because you have so many vulnerable that have been vaccinated, some of the folks that are showing up are more middle-aged folks, which is a little bit different than the last wave,” DeSantis said referring to the fact that Florida’s senior citizens have the highest rate of vaccination in the state and, therefore, as hospitals fill up with the unvaccinated, the age of patients skews younger.

“But I think that’s something that’s more close to what these health care workers are and their families and everything. Not that someone who is 90 who has problems, — and that’s still a sad thing — but I think that has been tough,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis’ made those comments after he was asked if he had plans to call in out-of-state help to alleviate burnt-out hospital staff in Florida.

DeSantis said there’s no out-of-state help to call in — and he might be right.

Medical staffing shortages are nationwide according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). AHA blames health care staffing agencies, which take a cut when they match hospitals with health care workers, for making the problem more expensive than it has to be.

The American Hospital Association in February wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission accusing nurse staffing agencies of jacking up the price of “desperately needed” nurses and asked the agency to investigate “anti-competitive” pricing.

DeSantis called the staffing agencies a bubble.

“Maybe that bubble will burst, but at least as of right now, you’re seeing it not just in Florida but around the country,” DeSantis said.

Evening Reads

Afghanistan is your fault” via Tom Nichols of The Atlantic

The shocking speed of the Taliban’s advance: A visual timeline” via Ruby Mellen of The Washington Post

America’s failure in Afghanistan started 20 years ago” via Fred Kaplan of Slate

Bible Belt preachers silent on shots as COVID-19 surges” via Jay Reeves of The Associated Press

Why no one really knows how bad Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem is” via Sharin Ghaffary of Vox

Despite rising COVID-19 cases, FL public college students will be back on campuses this fall” via Issac Morgan of the Florida Phoenix

Forget beating COVID-19. Europe is preparing to live with it.” via Jason Douglas and Eric Sylvers of The Wall Street Journal

What’s behind Joe Biden’s declining approval rating” via Geoffrey Skelley of FiveThirtyEight

COVID-19 vaccines produced in Africa are being exported to Europe” via Rebecca Robbins and Benjamin Mueller of The New York Times

Is the robot-filled future of farming a nightmare or utopia?” via Katrina Miller of WIRED

Why hybrid film releasing won’t disappear anytime soon” via Kaare Eriksen of Variety

Quote of the Day

“The continued presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan could not persist forever. But there was a right way and a disastrous way to leave. We now see which one the Biden administration decided on.” — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, on the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

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