Good Monday morning.
The media gets a lot of flak for the way it has covered the pandemic. They’re quick to jump on the case whenever there’s a spike in infections, hospitalizations or deaths, yet they’re skeptical when data show the pandemic is easing.
That’s for good reason. We’ve all heard about the light at the end of the tunnel a million times over the past 18 months, but we still haven’t seen it.
Still, there are a handful of good reasons to be hopeful. Here are five of them:
— First things first, the latest surge is winding down. After a string of record-setting weeks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday that U.S. case numbers are down 15% week-over-week. We’ve already started seeing the surge subside in Florida, too.
— Another positive sign: Vaccination numbers are still ticking up. As of Oct. 1, 77% of U.S. adults had received at least one dose of vaccine and just over two-thirds were fully vaccinated. Even better, 94% of Americans over 65 have received the shot.
— Of course, the vaccine is still not available to children under 12 years old, which has caused a lot of heartache for parents, teachers and kids, too. But it’s looking like that could soon change — a Food and Drug Administration committee will begin meeting in less than two weeks to discuss authorizing the Pfizer vaccine for children over age 5. That means there’s still a chance for a very merry, very vaxxed Christmas.
— But what about the vaccine holdouts? It’d be nice if they caved, but we’re not holding our breath. Luckily, Merck’s long-awaited treatment is showing promising results — compared to a placebo, patients who received the pill were half as likely to end up in the hospital or dead.
— Finally, it looks like the U.S. is finally getting its act together on testing. The White House said Friday that it expects double the number of available rapid tests to double over the next two months.
We’ve reported on this every day. https://t.co/XrSQrztjtT
— Jay O’Brien (@jayobtv) October 1, 2021
First on #FlaPol — Shevrin Jones nominated for DNC leadership post — President Joe Biden and DNC Chair Jaime Harrison announced the nomination of Jones as a DNC at-large member, to ensure that the Democratic Party reflects the people it intends to serve. Party charter and bylaws provide for the nomination of 75 at-large members of the DNC and 11 of the Executive Committee. The election will be this week.
“I am grateful for this exciting nomination and potential opportunity to work alongside President Biden, DNC Chair Harrison, and Democrats from across the country,” Jones said. “As we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, it’s critically important that our Party continue to uplift diverse perspectives and voices, especially those who are too often overlooked or unheard.”
Victoria Price is now the government relations manager for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation.
In her new role, Price will report directly to regulatory and government affairs director Steve Baccino. She will also implement Florida regulatory and governmental affairs strategies under the leadership of Mike Cassel, the company’s AVP of regulatory and governmental affairs.
The job will see her develop, grow and preserve key government relationships to further policies and initiatives that impact the Tallahassee-based energy company.
“We are thrilled to have Victoria on board and look forward to taking the Chesapeake Utilities government relations team to the next level with her robust network, relationships and knowledge of Florida politics,” Baccino said.
Cassel added, “Victoria is a great fit to represent CPK to state and local government entities, and she is certainly going to help engage our energy partners in Florida while fostering relationships with those in other states.”
Price comes to CPK from the University Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, where she held positions on the government affairs team and worked as the communications coordinator for UF/IFAS Global on a USAID project in Haiti.
“Victoria has been a huge contributor to UF/IFAS’s successes and an integral part of our advocacy efforts in the state and federal capital,” said Mary Ann Hooks, director of UF/IFAS governmental affairs. “While we are sorry to see her go, we know that she will be an invaluable asset to wherever she goes. We wish her the very best in her next step with CPK.”
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@DineshDSouza: I wonder if history will view Jan. 6, in retrospect, as America’s Tiananmen Square. Desperate protesters seeking to have their voices heard. Vicious government crackdown and prosecution. No dissent policy enforced across society via mass censorship and one-party media
—@ScottForFlorida: The Biden Administration wants to cancel Christmas! Americans are smart enough to make their own decisions. They don’t want or need the federal government to decide how or when they spend time with their own families.
—@IllhanMN: In Congress, we don’t make predictions like this until we know we have the votes. Some of us get this, others bluff & fall on their face. Hopefully, @JoshGottheimer and the other 4% of Democrats will not obstruct but negotiate and help us get @POTUS’s agenda done for the people.
—@CHunschofsky: Never did I think we would have to defend a woman’s right choose in my lifetime. I grew up believing that this issue was decided. Proud to stand with so many women and men today to #MarchForChoice. Thank you @collum_emma and @JasmenRogers for organizing such a meaningful event!
Yesterday I showed up as my authentic self. A Black Mother that believes in a woman’s right to choose. It’s not my business, nor should it be any other person’s business, what a woman decides to do with her body. #BansOffOurBodies
?: @khathaway1 pic.twitter.com/UQrQl33NG6
— Rep. Angie Nixon (@AngieNixon) October 3, 2021
—@Rpetty: Block traffic = media approved “good” protest. But go to a local school board meeting to discuss curriculum or mask mandates = anti-democratic & a threat to democracy.
? @SenatorAMR @gunsnroses ☝️$! Back Tour” ?????? pic.twitter.com/Q1nR118Gwo
— Ileana Garcia (@IleanaGarciaUSA) October 3, 2021