New cases and deaths from COVID in Florida continue to decline

While other states are dealing with increases of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Governor Ron DeSantis appears to have steered Florida through difficult times of COVID cases and deaths. With a 7-day average of 1,500 recent cases among Florida’s 21.5 million population, the state has 95 deaths over a 7-day average.

Palm Beach County had no deaths yesterday and has had a 7-day average of 5 deaths for its 1.5 million population. The county has had 103 new cases over a 7-day average.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis comes to West Palm Beach to discuss mandates and election fraud

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Playing to a supportive crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke mostly about election integrity and mask mandates this morning. DeSantis called on the Florida Legislature to further strengthen the integrity of Florida elections. DeSantis assured the crowd that there will not be any COVID vaccination mandates in Florida.

DeSantis said that if a Florida citizen witnessed ballot harvesting, which is illegal in Florida, and that citizen calls the incident in to a local Supervisor of Elections office, often, nothing happens. DeSantis said, “In Florida, it is Constitutionally mandated that only citizens are allowed to vote in Florida and yet you see examples of people, even though they [poll workers] check that they are not citizens, and they will still be given ballots.”

DeSantis called on the Florida legislature to add an office responsible for instigating election crimes which will employ law enforcement investigators to bring cases to the Florida Attorney General for prosecution.

Today’s press conference follows the announcement by Roger Stone this past weekend that if DeSantis does not do something about election fraud in Florida, then he will run against him in 2022.

DeSantis touted how Florida has one of the lowest if not the lowest COVID rates in the nation and how Florida has added a large number of jobs while other states have lagged in the job category. DeSantis said, “You shouldn’t have to lose your job over these COVID mandates. We need to stand up for people to make their own decisions and we shouldn’t have people lose their jobs over it.”

He also expects passage of a $5,000 signing bonus for out-of-state law enforcement officers who move to and employ themselves in law enforcement in Florida.

U.S. House District 20 primary winners to face Libertarian Mike ter Maat in January

Mike ter Maat, District 20 Congressional Candidate

With some vote-by-mail ballots still to be counted, Republican Jason Mariner has handily won. At press time, Democrats Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Dale Holness are too close to call and will trigger an automatic recount and potentially a run-off vote. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Mariner and Libertarian Mike ter Maat in the January 11, 2022, general special election to fill the seat. District 20 is holding a special election since Alcee Hastings passed away last year and voter turnout in Palm Beach County was 17 percent.

McCormick and Holness are within one percent of each other, which if that holds true later today after they counted all the votes, then that would trigger an automatic recount for only those two candidates and potentially a run-off vote. The winner will then run in the general special election being held on January 11, 2022. In addition to Mike ter Maat, there is Leonard Serratore and Jim Flynn running with no party affiliation, and Shelley Fain is the write-in candidate.

Candidate Websites:

Mike ter Maat

Jason Mariner

Leonard Serratore

Jim Flynn (no website found)

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick

Dale Holness

Shelley Fain

Roger Stone suggests he may run for governor against Ron DeSantis in 2022

During an episode of the Stew Peters show this past weekend, Roger Stone stated he is considering a run to be Florida’s next governor should current Governor Ron DeSantis not audit the 2020 presidential election to determine if fraud occurred.

Stone, a long time Libertarian Party registered voter in Broward County, Florida, suggests that there was a large amount of fraud in Florida costing former President Donald Trump votes in the 2020 general election.

Strangely, out of the 15 individuals who have filed to run to be Florida’s Governor, according to the Florida Division of Elections website, DeSantis has yet to file for next year’s election. Those seeking to be on the ballot for the Florida governor’s race have until June 2022 to qualify to be on the ballot for the primary and general elections in 2022.

https://tv.gab.com/channel/realstewpeters/view/roger-stone-to-gov-desantis-audit-617adee0937c79052f9e9868

Special session in two weeks for Florida legislators — focus on jobs and vaccines

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a proclamation announcing that the Special Session to provide protections for Floridians who have lost their jobs or are having their employment threatened because of vaccine mandates will begin on November 15, 2021, and go no later than November 19, 2021. 

“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to 3 jabs to keep your job. In Florida, we believe that the decision whether or not to get a COVID shot is a choice based on individual circumstances, so we are litigating against the Biden Administration and will be passing legislation in this Special Session to protect Florida jobs and protect parents’ rights when it comes to masking and quarantines. The health, education, and wellbeing of our children are primarily the responsibility of parents. As long as I am Governor, parents in Florida will play a strong role in determining what their kids are learning and how they’re treated in school.” 

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis called for this Special Session of the Florida Legislature at a press conference where he was joined by first responders, healthcare workers, airline employees, and Floridians from various other industries who have faced or are facing consequences as a result of vaccine mandates.

Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have also announced a lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates, making Florida the first state to bring a comprehensive legal action against the federal contractor vaccine mandate. “Governor DeSantis has called this Special Session because we must stand up for the rights and liberties of Floridians not only through litigation but also through legislation,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Senate President Simpson and House Speaker Sprowls to provide protections for Floridians of all ages, in the workforce and in the classroom.”  

Governor DeSantis is calling on the Legislature to consider legislation that will:  

  • Protect current and prospective employees against unfair discrimination because of COVID-19 vaccination status and ensure robust enforcement for this protection;
  • Ensure that educational institutions and government entities are prohibited from unfairly discriminating against current and prospective employees, students, and residents based on COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • Ensure that employees improperly denied employment based on COVID-19 vaccination status can be eligible for reemployment benefits and, if needed, ensure that employees injured by a COVID-19 vaccination taken under a company policy are covered by workers’ compensation;
  • Appropriate a sufficient amount of funds to investigate complaints regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates and to take legal action against such mandates, including mandates imposed by the Federal Government;
  • Clarify that the Parents’ Bill of Rights, Chapter 1014, Florida Statutes, vests the decision on masking with parents, not government entities, and that schools must comply with Department of Health rules that govern student health, including rules that ensure healthy students can remain in school; 
  • Limit mandates by school districts on students or employees regarding COVID-19 and related mitigation measures;
  • Provide adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure that Florida law is followed and the rights of parents are honored;
  • Direct the State to evaluate whether it should assert jurisdiction over occupational safety and health issues for government and private employees;
  • Repeal the authority for the State Health Officer to order forced injections or vaccinations under Section 381.00315, Florida Statutes, originally enacted in 2002; and
  • Create as necessary public records exemptions related to complaints and investigations described herein.

 To hear testimonials of employees affected by vaccine mandates, the video of Governor DeSantis’ press conference from Thursday, October 21st, where he called for the Special Session is available for use here, and the video of Governor DeSantis’ press conference from Thursday, October 28th, where he announced a lawsuit against the Biden Administration is available for use here, both courtesy of the Governor’s Press Office.

Florida continues to do well with COVID-19 response

COVID-19 has devastated the economies of many states in the union and most countries across the globe. Yet, COVID has not had a larger death rate to the population than other diseases. While any death is tragic no matter the cause, the number of Floridians who have passed away because of COVID remains relatively small. Florida is arguably one of the most vulnerable states in the nation because of its large number of elderly who are more susceptible to death from COVID-19 than younger populations. The following numbers are only those we can get from government sources and those have been called into question as often being inflated causes of death because of COVID.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

An important point when reading articles or watching the news is we are often given the total numbers of COVID cases and deaths, which have happened over the course of about 22 months (almost two years). So, for this article and the numbers below, I have broken them down to being based on yearly averages. We count all diseases on a yearly basis and it is unclear why our government officials and much in the media choose to use total numbers when talking about COVID-19. Breaking the numbers down by year or even by month and season has been the traditional and more rational way to keep track of the severity of diseases affecting us humans.

For instance, according to USAFacts.org, Florida’s total deaths from COVID-19 have been .15% annually of the state’s 21,570,527 person population. Florida has had 58,933 deaths because of COVID and broken down by 22 months comes to about 2,678 deaths per month. Multiply that by 12 months in a year, the average number of annual deaths in Florida because of COVID is 32,145. This would be our third leading cause of death in Florida, distantly behind heart disease and cancer. While heart disease and cancer are not communicable diseases, the bulk of deaths for these diseases are preventable, as with COVID-19. Yet we have not shut down the economy because of heart disease or cancer, and in fact, the government has been complicit in approving of and promoting things that cause heart disease and cancer in Floridians.

Until we get a handle on the best ways to combat the virus, it may be a good idea to protect yourself with a boost to your immune system with healthy eating, supplementation, and exercise.

Fortunate for those who have contracted COVID and survived now have natural immunity, which will help them combat COVID-19 and many of its variants. Since COVID is a novel virus, we continue to collect more data that will help us determine how effective natural immunity and synthetic vaccines are in combatting the disease.

Florida’s Dept of Health out with latest COVID-19 “situation report” – death to population remains under .2%

Leaders have squandered this opportunity to help get Americans to adopt healthier habits, which would reduce our collective healthcare costs in the future.

The Department of Health for the State of Florida has published its weekly COVID-19 Situation Report with its numbers through August 19, 2021. The numbers of new COVID-19 cases seem to have leveled off and we will see if that continues its plateau or declines as expected. According to the state government’s numbers, .192 percent of the Florida population has passed away because of COVID-19 over the last 1 1/2 years. Meanwhile, over the same time period, .318% of the state’s population has died of heart disease and .31% of the state population has died of cancer. Most heart disease and cancer deaths are preventable, which brings forth the question as to why there is such a major focus on COVID-19 when deaths from other preventable diseases are left in the shadows.

Some would answer that it is because COVID-19 is a transmittable disease, while cancer and heart disease are not, which would be correct. Yet, the government has been leading the charge to prevent COVID-19 infections and has been unsuccessfully regardless of the massive mandates, spending taxpayer money it does not have, and forcing businesses to close or heavily modify how they operate.

Why do they not do the same to help prevent the two leading causes of death? Because heavy government restrictions do not work. They did not work with COVID-19 and have been proven not to work with alcohol (a proven cause of cancer). It has been proven that processed meats cause cancer, yet there have been no Draconian actions taken against our local delis. Restaurants may serve unhealthy foods laden with salt (known causation of heart disease), yet politicians are quick to kill the restaurant industry with bizarre and non-science-based restrictions to prevent COVID-19.

If politicians were truly interested in saving lives and following the science, they would propose bans on fried foods, alcohol, excessive salt, sugar, etc. The reason that doesn’t happen is that we would laugh them out of office even though the science would back them and such actions would never work because it would create a black market in those items. We would hear from politicians and science experts that besides getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the population may want to take other healthy actions to boost their immune systems to live a healthier life. Leaders have squandered this opportunity to help get Americans to adopt healthier habits, which would reduce our collective healthcare costs in the future.

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Student mask mandate for Palm Beach County schools remains off the table

Last night, the School District of Palm Beach County reassured concerned county parents that nothing has changed to their decision to have masks optional for students in this upcoming school season. Palm Beach County schools commence operations on August 10, 2021.

For those parents concerned about sending their children to an in-person environment with unmasked students, they have the option of utilizing the long running Palm Beach Virtual School system.

Last night, the school board appointed Chief Financial Officer Michael Burke as the interim superintendent since Dr. Donald Fennoy tendered his resignation last week.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

About half of Palm Beach County residents have been fully vaccinated

According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, 49.6 percent of Palm Beach County, Florida residents have been fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus. And at least 56.8 percent of county residents have received at least one dose. And those with natural immunity, those who have contracted COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2, are 16 percent of the county population. Unfortunately, we are not able to have access to data on how many of those who had COVID-19 also got one of the three methods of manufactured vaccines.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Palm Beach County has seen a small rise in COVID-19 cases there have not been any deaths. As for the number of county hospital beds being devoted to COVID-19 patients that remains at well under 10 percent, where is has remained since March 2021.

Almost $31 billion of unemployment benefits have been given in Florida

Yesterday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued its weekly Reemployment Assistance updates. Daily updates can be found on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard. There is also a lawsuit expected to be filed later this morning by Vanessa Brito claiming that Florida’s ending of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program on June 26, 2021 was illegal.

Photo by George Milton on Pexels.com

PAYMENT PROGRESS:

  • As of July 19, DEO has paid 2,404,218 claimants more than $30.9 billion ($30,959,484,730). Over 5.5 million (5,578,205) unique claims have been processed, representing 99.0 percent of unique claims submitted. 
  • 97.4 percent of all eligible benefits requested prior to June 25, 2021, for state Reemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have been paid to claimants. Additionally, 99.9 percent of all eligible benefits requested by claimants for weeks of unemployment prior to July 25, 2020, have also received their corresponding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits for that week. 
  • If a claimant has not received benefits or all of the benefits they believe they are entitled to, they should:
    • Check that they have requested benefits; 
    • Check that the weeks they are requesting are eligible weeks; and 
    • Check that their account information in CONNECT is up-to-date and accurate.
  • DEO recommends that claimants and employers utilize the Reemployment Assistance Help Center—an online portal for claimants and employers to provide and receive additional information from DEO. This online resource continues to be updated with additional features for claimants and employers to notify DEO of instances of Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft, provide documentation to DEO, and has several resourceful materials for claimants or employers who have additional questions. To visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center, click here.
  • DEO would like to remind claimants that it is important to continue requesting benefits to receive payment. This video and guide may be helpful. 

UPDATES:

CONNECT Hours

  • DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments. CONNECT’s regularly scheduled hours are from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily, Monday – Friday.
  • Beginning Saturday, July 24, through Sunday, July 25, CONNECT will be unavailable to claimants while the Department works to continue to process payments, and send necessary correspondence to claimants. CONNECT will be available Monday, July 26, at 8:00 a.m.
  • This schedule does not affect individuals who wish to file a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hours a day, seven days per week at www.FloridaJobs.org and select “File a Claim.” 

Customer Service Centers

  • Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Centers are available this week Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. for all account inquiries and questions. On Saturday, July 24, through Sunday, July 25, staff resources will be dedicated to processing claims and payments. The Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center will reopen Monday, July 26, at 7:30 a.m.
  • For additional questions, please visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center. This online portal can assist claimants or employers provide additional information to DEO. Individuals can also notify DEO of suspected Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. To access this new online portal, click here.

Additional Resources

  • If an individual is not eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits, there are additional resources readily available to Floridians and their families.
  • DEO, in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), provide additional opportunities and resources for Florida families who need additional assistance. Resources include food assistance for low-income households, medical assistance, and temporary financial assistance to families who qualify. For more information, click here
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