Things That Matter

Latino Leaders Demand Apology From Florida Governor After Blaming COVID Spikes On Latino Laborers

Update June 24, 2020, 5:21 p.m. PST: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is overseeing one of the strongest COVID-19 peaks in the U.S. The Sunshine State has set records for COVID-19 infections and he recently blamed Latino laborers. Latino leaders are demanding an apology for the comments.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is being criticized for his COVID-19 response and comments.

Florida’s coronavirus outbreak is one of the worst in the nation. The response has put millions of Floridians at risk of contracting the virus. The state has set daily records for the most daily infections on a state level several times over. Gov. DeSantis blamed “Hispanic laborers” and leaders demand an apology.

“It’s absolutely embarrassing, appalling,” state Rep. Javier Fernández said during a news call Monday. Rep. Fernández went on to say that we are in a dark time in politics when something like this is allowed to happen. A coalition of 50 groups sent Gov. DeSantis a letter in April asking for more testing in the rural communities in Florida.

According to NBC News, Natascha Otero-Santiago, vice president of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, is calling on Gov. DeSantis to come forward with his sources for the claims of “Hispanic laborers” being the leading cause for COVID-19 spikes across the state.

Original: Florida is experiencing a troubling increase in COVID-19 cases. The state sent a new record with more than 3,800 new cases in a day. The state, which has quickly reopened without ever completely shutting down, is concerning health experts in the U.S. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is putting the blame on one community.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is blaming the Latino community for Florida’s COVID-19 spike.

During a press conference in Tallahassee, Gov. DeSantis blamed the increase of COVID-19 cases on “overwhelmingly Hispanic” laborers. He then used language that otherized the laborers to create fearful rhetoric about them bringing the virus with them.

“Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there’s all these opportunities to have transmission,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Tallahassee.

Florida was one of the first states to push for a rapid reopening against guidelines from health experts.

Florida never went into full lockdown. The state made national headlines as beach closure, during Spring Break, we left up to the individual counties. This allowed for people to flood Florida beaches and bars despite the growing risk of COVID-19 infections.

The governor is facing a lot of backlash for his scapegoating after what many perceive as a failure in leadership.

According to the Miami Herald, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried fired back as Gov. DeSantis to correct the record. Fried stated that the migrant workers Gov. DeSantis blamed have left Florida after harvest weeks ago. Fried also pointed out that the outbreaks are concentrated in non-agriculture communities.

Floridians are calling on Gov. DeSantis to do better to protect public health.

COVID-19 numbers are increasing in several states in the U.S. Florida is among the most severe spikes with record-breaking numbers of infections daily. Experts continue to warn of the ongoing threat COVID-19 poses in the U.S. stressing the use of facial coverings and social distancing.

READ: Ohio Senator Who Asked Question About COVID Infections In ‘Colored’ Community Fired As ER Physician

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Things That Matter

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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