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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 10.28.21

How do Joseph Ladapo and Ron DeSantis reflect on their respective alma maters? Image via Colin Hackley.

  By Peter Schorsch

Good Thursday morning.

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has been as coy about his vaccination status as he has been cagey with everything else related to COVID-19.

The good doctor has made a name for himself by advocating for the inverse of accepted medical advice on testing, masking and vaccines.

Given his many contrarian op-eds, one wonders whether Harvard — which requires vaccines for all faculty and staff, by the way — still wants to claim him as an alum. In essence, he is to Harvard Medical School what Gov. Ron DeSantis is to Harvard law.

The latest question mark comes after he refused to wear a mask when meeting with Sen. Tina Polsky, who was recently diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

It would have been a cinch to comply with her request. Doing so would have been consistent with the medical advice Ladapo gave in the past. And, as Senate President Wilton Simpson said Wednesday, it’s just good manners.

Yet simple tasks may as well be herculean labors for Ladapo, who can’t manage to answer a yes or no question about whether he’s gotten the jab.

Thankfully, that mystery will be solved before Christmas as UF Health announced Wednesday that it will abide by the Joe Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate.

The health system covers two-thirds of Ladapo’s paycheck — $262,000 — due to his joint appointment to a UF College of Medicine post.

Under UF Health’s policy, Ladapo has until Dec. 8 to either get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot or both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

So, it would seem the same price spikes found in the real property market also apply to the hill he’s trying to die on — time to see if he can afford it.

Tick tock.


Almost a scoop — DeSantis has not officially filed for reelection, although a rollout of his 2022 plans is imminent, sources inside his juggernaut campaign say.

It may not be official yet, but expect Generra Peck to become Ron DeSantis’ erstwhile ‘campaign manager.’

But just because DeSantis isn’t an official candidate doesn’t mean the chess-boarding isn’t underway.

Look for the well-regarded Generra Peck to be campaign manager, err, actually she may not get that exact title, but she is expected to run day-to-day operations for DeSantis ’22.

Peck is president of Pathway Public Affairs, where DeSantis senior adviser Phil Cox is a partner.


The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and Future of Florida Forum continues today, with a slate of speakers focused on how the business community can home in on strategies to make Florida a Top 10 economy in the world.

More leading business issues are in store for Day Two of the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and Future of Florida Forum.

Day One featured a jam-packed agenda that included talks from three of the top elected officials in the state — CFO Jimmy Patronis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Senate President Simpson — as well as updates and policy dives from some of the state’s foremost business leaders.

On Thursday, the Forum continues with panels on the future of higher education, workplace safety, transportation, space exploration, racial equity and rural economic development.

Each segment will drive home ways businesses can engage in the Florida Chamber’s Six Pillars Framework and help accomplish the 39 goals of the Florida 2030 Blueprint — the Chamber’s cornerstone research project on growing the economy.

But the highlight of the day comes shortly after noon when DeSantis is expected to take the stage to deliver a keynote on his vision for Florida’s future. House Speaker Chris Sprowls will follow with a talk on workforce reform.

Before the event wraps with a “Magic Close,” courtesy of comedian Mark Robinson, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson will summarize the information-dense, two-day event, answering the question on most business leaders’ minds: “Where do we go from here?”

Jimmy Patronis outlines 2022 priorities at Future of Florida Forum” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Patronis will focus on funding for first responders and cracking down on pesky scam calls during the upcoming Session. The Panama City Republican recounted the fight to secure COVID-19 liability protections for businesses. Heading into Session, Patronis said it was “important that we get the economy up and running in as many ways as possible.” “One of our top priorities is to make sure (first responders) have the support they need to do their job in order to protect our communities,” he said. Specifically, his office will seek a $10 million appropriation to purchase equipment and provide more training to urban search and rescue teams. Patronis also highlighted the work to spread the word about the state’s unclaimed property website.

Future of Florida Forum: Wilton Simpson highlights education, environmental policy as keys to Florida’s economic success” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Simpson said Florida’s economy had weathered the pandemic due to smart decisions at the state level, well before COVID-19 entered the lexicon. The Trilby Republican credited the Legislature’s focus on education — including “school choice” vouchers and funding for trade education programs. “Your state Legislature has spent a disproportionate amount of time on education. We don’t get a lot of credit for that, but we currently have the No. 1 university and college education system in the country, four years in a row,” Simpson said. “What does 15-20 years from now look like? If we have the best education facilities — university, college and K-12 systems — we will be the best place to do business by far,” he said.

Future of Florida Forum: Child care staffing crisis could cripple economic comeback” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — As the job market and economy inches toward normalcy, child care centers are struggling to make ends meet. Rep. Vance Aloupis and Children’s Nest Day Schools President Tripp Crouch said that should worry business leaders and lawmakers as much as it does parents. “If the pandemic showed us anything, it shows that early learning is also about the worker … 85% of child care centers closed their doors across Miami-Dade County at the height of the pandemic, leaving moms and dads struggling to find (a) place to put their children so that they can be on the front lines fighting COVID. And the challenges have only increased,” Aloupis told the crowd. Crouch said the biggest challenge is finding teachers to put in classrooms.

Future of Florida Forum: Chamber emphasizes kids health, welfare” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — The Florida Chamber is emphasizing the improvement of children’s health and welfare status in the next eight years. “What we believe, in the next 10 years if we do the right things in Florida, we can grow to the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030. We are going to have 4 million more people and 2 million more jobs,” said Wilson. “And you can ask me all morning, ‘How are we going to do that?’ What do we need to do in education and roads and jobs and technology and RFT and international trade and water and the environment? We can have that conversation.”


@DaniellaMicaela: Leaving meeting with WH officials, Sen. Joe Manchin said this on prospects for a deal: “It’s really up to the rest of the caucus.” He later said: “Everyone has to participate.” All Sen. Kyrsten Sinema would say is they are “doing great, making prog.”



@MaryEllenKlas: .@FlChamber President Mark Wilson boasts: ‘We’re very nonpartisan, and we’re very pro-business … In 2018 elections and the 2020 elections, the @FlChamber‘s team invested more in Florida politics than our national Chamber did nationally.’

@MaryEllenKlas: Day One of the @FlChamber annual conference, and I did not hear any of these words: COVID, vaccines, mandate, special Session. What I did hear often: workforce & growth woes, supply chain worries, call for manufacturing & marketing aggressiveness and property insurance concerns …

@NPR: The mental health crisis among children is now a national emergency, top pediatric health experts are warning. In 2020, mental health ER visits rose by 24% for kids ages 5 to 11, and 31% for those 12-17.

@Jcp717: The comedy highlight of today was when some dipshit with no medical training tried to tell me that I should follow the advice of a few doctors in Scandinavia instead of listening to the pediatrician that has treated my children for almost 11 years.

@StefKunkel: At this point, I’ll take another lockdown: filling my 20-gal premium gas tank over supply chain issues is painful.





FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comOct. 28, 2021

Republished with permission