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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 11.18.21

Miami celebrates the spirit of giving. Image via Facebook.

By Peter Schorsch

Good Thursday morning.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we ask our loyal Sunburn fans — particularly those in The Process — to let us know what you’re grateful for this year. We will publish the comments in our Tuesday edition — the last one for the holiday week. Please send your emails to .

Here are some other items on my radar:

? — Hartville, Missouri ‘center of population’: The U.S. Census Bureau has calculated the center of the U.S. population in the southern Missouri town, home to just 600 people. According to the Census Bureau, the center is the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if every resident weighed the exact same. 2020 redistricting data from the 2020 Census puts the new center about 15 miles from Hartville. The calculation helps demographers quantify how fast and in which direction the population is moving over time. To put that into perspective, the first population center was in Maryland, about 23 miles east of Baltimore, in 1790. Since then, the center has moved further west and, more recently, further south, reflecting both immigration and the movement of U.S. citizens from the northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt. Towns in Missouri have been the center of population since 1980. The point will be marked with a survey monument from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

? — Why health care workers are fleeing the biz: Some have left because they didn’t want to get vaccinated, others because they contracted Long COVID-19 and could no longer work. But many, too many, have chosen to leave because they can’t handle the emotional toll. The Atlantic outlines stories from nurses who have lived COVID-19 horrors in ICUs across the nations. One said she left the industry after witnessing time and time again senseless death and becoming guilt-ridden over her resentment for it. She tells of a family who, despite spending 40 minutes pumping a respirator bag, the only thing keeping her patient alive, so the family had time to say goodbye, the family called to question whether the hospital had indeed done their best, all the while continuing to downplay the virus that claimed their loved one’s life. In all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates nearly a half-million workers have left the health care sector since February 2020. A Morning Consult survey found 18% of health care workers had quit since the pandemic began. Read more here.

? — Olympic sponsors face China dilemma: With the 2022 Winter Games scheduled in Beijing, Olympic sponsors are caught between the U.S. and one of the world’s major superpowers, concerned the nation will use the event as a loyalty test, writes Axios. The Chinese government has for years hosted global events with little impact on its continued human rights violations. Human rights groups and politicians have called on companies sponsoring The Games — there are 13 top-level sponsors — to speak out against the violations, but none have done so. Remaining silent could anger customers in the U.S. and other countries not named China. But speaking out could lead to boycotts from Chinese customers. And Beijing is unlikely to tolerate any criticism.

? — Twitter is loud, but the cacophony is only from a few: When people like U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar tweet violent videos, it creates quite the media circus. But as much as politicians, media personalities and trolls thunder away, what you see on Twitter doesn’t necessarily represent the world as it really is. A new @pewresearch study makes clear just 23% of U.S. adults even use Twitter. Among those, just 25% make up 97% of the overall tweets on the platform. It brings to mind the adage: If a tree falls in the forest … But alas, the most shocking 160 characters still manage to resonate.


Wilton Simpson and Tampa General Hospital honor the heroes of the pandemic — health care workers. Image via Facebook.

Wilton Simpson joins Tampa General for tribute to Florida health care workers — Senate President Simpson appeared alongside General President and CEO John Couris and CMO Dr. Peggy Duggan for an event honoring health care staff across the state who have been working around the clock during the pandemic. The event was held in the Capitol courtyard as part of Tampa General’s “We Are TGH Day” at the Capitol. “The health care heroes of Florida — and especially the dozens who have joined us here today from Tampa General Hospital — have always been essential to our state,” Simpson said. “But during the past two years, they’ve been tested like no other. And they have shined like no other. Florida’s health care heroes are hardworking, selfless and unwilling to give up. Thank you, health care heroes. We’re grateful for your service to our communities and to our state.”


It’s Give Miami Day. From now until midnight, all donations to participating nonprofits in Miami-Dade will get a partial match through The Miami Foundation and the event’s sponsors.

The annual charitable event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and a record 950 nonprofits have registered — that’s 100 more than 2020 when the day spurred more than $18.2 million in charitable giving.

Miami celebrates the spirit of giving. Image via Facebook.

Many worthy charities are on the list, but one deserves some special recognition (and maybe a few of your dollars): The Children’s Movement of Florida.

For the past 15 years, the nonpartisan nonprofit organization has been a force in advocating for high-quality early learning opportunities, access to children’s health care, and parent support programs in Florida.

The Children’s Movement is just as active in board rooms as it is in the state Capitol. It is helping to lead the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s kindergarten readiness efforts. Its “Bosses for Babies” initiative also seeks to get employers of all sizes to promote kindergarten readiness.

If you can spare a few dollars, click through to the donation page.

Donors don’t have to live in Miami to participate, and all donations from $25 to $10,000 qualify for a partial match. There’s only one catch: Matching funds are only available for online donations, and they must be made before midnight tonight.


@Twitter: you’re doing great, even if your Tweets aren’t



@ADL_Florida: The belief that the Rothschilds manipulate currency and influence global events for personal enrichment and world domination is a staple of antisemitic conspiracy theorists. It’s deeply disturbing to see these kinds of conspiracies promoted by a member of @GovRonDeSantis‘ staff.

@AGAshleyMoody: We called @JoeBiden’s bluff and now, OSHA is suspending its unlawful effort to vaccinate millions of Americans against their will. While this is great news, we cannot relent in our efforts to fight back against unlawful federal overreach.

— @SenatorTaddeo: Senate Bill 2-B mentions “anticipated pregnancy” as a vaccine exemption. Turns out — nobody knows what exactly that means, I google’d it and still didn’t find anything. There are multiple studies showing that pregnant people should get vaccinated. This rhetoric is dangerous.

@JaxPeel: A member of the Florida House of Representatives called Pres. Biden a tyrant on the House floor today, and implied he wasn’t really the elected President of the United States. In case you’re wondering how America is doing right now.

@MrEvanRoss: Can someone ask Rep James Bush if he’s planning on running as a Democrat or Republican in 2022? He seems to be as loyal to Ron DeSantis’ agenda as any Republican.

Tweet, tweet:


@GaryWhite13: CDC has bumped COVID transmission risk for Polk County back up to substantial. It had dropped to moderate by end of last week. Change reflects rise to more than 50 cases per 100,000.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comNov. 18, 2021

Republished with permission