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Florida has the correct coronavirus response – but the media won’t tell you that



Florida has the correct coronavirus response - but the media won't tell you that

A few months ago, the media, almost like one, decided that Governor Ron DeSantis was a public threat that would get Florida residents killed with his weak response to the coronavirus crisis.

In an interview with National Review, DeSantis said he was surprised by “what a knee he was” that hostile coverage of, but he “also knew that none of these people knew about Florida at all, so I didn’t care what they said.”

Conventional wisdom has begun to change about Florida, because the widely predicted disaster has yet to materialize. It is worth investigating the country’s response because it is the opposite of the media narrative of the friendly governor Trump who ignores facts to pursue a rash agenda. DeSantis and his team have followed science closely from the start, which is why they forged a nuanced approach, but which focused like a laser on the most vulnerable populations, those in nursing homes.

An irony of the national coverage of the coronavirus crisis is that at the same time DeSantis was made a villain, the Governor of New York. Cuomo was made a hero, although DeSantis’s approach to nursing homes is clearly superior to Cuomo. Florida is trying hard to expel COVID-19 positive people from nursing homes, while New York is out of the way to include them, a policy that is now widely recognized to have been a disaster.

The media doesn’t really pay attention to the ball. “The day the media had their first major frenzy about Florida was March 15,” DeSantis recalled. “There are people in Clearwater Beach, and this is a big problem. The same day was when we signed an executive order to, one, forbid visits to nursing homes, and two, forbid reintroduction of COVID-positive patients back to nursing homes.”

DeSantis was confused by the obsession with the beaches of Florida. When they open in Jacksonville, it is a great national story, usually delivered in a terrible tone. “Jacksonville has almost no COVID activity outside the context of the nursing home,” he said. “Their hospitalization dropped, ICU dropped since the beach opened a month ago. However, no one talked about it. Just like, ‘OK, we just move on to the next target.’

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Despite being appointed to hero status, Governor Cuomo's attitude about nursing homes paled in comparison with Governor DeSantis's decision in Florida.
Despite being elevated to hero status, Governor Cuomo’s attitude about nursing homes paled in comparison to Governor DeSantis taking in Florida.John Roca

So how does DeSantis act in response to the epidemic? Starting with data …

Learn from Evidence

At first, DeSantis looked at the South Korean experience, which he said “did not have deaths under 30, and then 80 percent of them were 70 years old or above. That’s really dramatic. “

Then there’s Italy: “I think the average age of death is around 82 in some regions of Northern Italy … That really helps inform strategies to focus most of our efforts on risk groups.”

The DeSantis team also did not put a lot of stock in a horrific projection. Instead, “we started to really focus on what we saw.”

Florida is better able to do that than many countries because of her routine experience dealing with natural disasters. “Many states don’t have the data infrastructure that Florida has,” said Mary Mayhew, secretary of the Florida Health Administration Agency. “We have an emergency status system that stands in the case of a hurricane. Hospitals and nursing homes and other long-term care providers are required to send data every day, twice a day, about the availability of their beds. “

The Florida Department of Health produces reports that DeSantis sees every morning: new cases, number of tests, positivity, etc. He also got a list of people going to the hospital and using ICU. He can follow the main indicators to the district level. He cites the example of rural Hamilton County. That has 67 cases the other day. DeSantis can call the state general surgeon to find out what is happening and find out that it was an outbreak in prison rather than a wider community spread.

The focus is on “clinically significant cases” and it points to nursing homes.

First, Protect Nursing Homes

Florida has about 350,000 residents and staff in more than 4,000 long-term care facilities, and the state takes precautions with its seniors in general.

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“We suggest, before there is mitigation,” DeSantis said, “if you are 65 and older, stay at home as much as possible and avoid the crowds.”

Florida nursing homes are well supplied, managed and protected by Governor DeSantis.
Florida nursing homes are well supplied, managed and protected by Governor DeSantis.NurPhoto via Getty Images

Inspectors and assessment teams also visit nursing homes. Florida, DeSantis notes, “requires all staff and every worker who enters for COVID disease screening, temperature check. Anyone who is symptomatic will not be allowed in. “And that requires staff to wear PPE.” We put our money in our mouths, “he continued.” We ended up sending 10 million masks only to our long-term care facility, one million gloves, half a million face shields. “

Florida also fortifies hospitals with PPE, but DeSantis is aware that there will be no point in hospitals if infections in nursing homes run out of control: “If I can send PPE to nursing homes, and they can prevent outbreaks. there, it will do more to reduce the burden on hospitals than I just send them 500,000 N95 masks. “

When the country saw infections in nursing homes that were likely caused by staff, DeSantis mobilized what he called the “expedition testing force” – 50 National Guard teams consisting of four guards along with Department of Health personnel who tested staff and residents.

Most of the facilities have not yet been confirmed. “But already,” he said, “the majority of them have between one and five infections. So the infection is identified, but then, you isolate individuals or small groups before you experience an outbreak. “

The state has just launched a cellular testing laboratory in RV that has a quick test with results in one or two hours. They have also started sentinel surveillance programs for long-term care facilities, routinely taking representative samples to monitor flare-ups.

Finally, several nursing homes have just been established COVID-19, with several more in the pipeline. The idea, once again, is to get COVID-19-positive residents out of ordinary nursing homes as much as possible.

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Country Diversity, Various Approaches

At the same time, Florida gives concessions to their districts how they react to the crisis.

“I said from the beginning,” DeSantis explained, “we are a large and diverse country. Even at this point, 60 percent of our cases came from only three districts. “

DeSantis issued its own orders throughout the state, but he argued that it was more flexible and less prescriptive than those from other countries. “We basically have a business that operates. We have a caring day opened, we have open recreation, and my order has never really closed business. We allow them to operate in the context of only limiting contact between people outside the household. “

The hot outdoor environment seemed to quell fear of other waves of plague.
The media were scared after photos emerged of people flocking to the Florida coast in March, but Governor DeSantis was not worried. “I have always believed that respiratory viruses tend to be transmitted in hot outdoor environments,” he said.Getty Images

He relaxed from the start about outdoor activities, even when critics sounded alarms about the beach: “I always believe that respiratory viruses tend to be transmitted in hot outdoor environments, and then you start to see studies come, in March, saying that that is so. “

He thinks that the relatively short and extensive closing orders have allowed Florida to be ahead of the reopening curve of tighter states. DeSantis argues that “what we did in March and April is equivalent to what will happen in New York or California, when they go to phase three.”

Going forward, he said, “being measured and being wise and just following the data is important.” But “outside southeast Florida, we don’t see a lot of community transmission, which is a good sign.” Of course, testing will continue to be a priority, as has been the case so far.

Maybe there is still something wrong in Florida, but no one can say that the state has not taken a wise approach to the crisis. Or, no one can say that – which, of course, hasn’t stopped many journalists.

“I see it more as a badge of honor that I do a good job,” DeSantis said, “and that they see me as a target, because if not, they might ignore me.”

This part has been adapted from the original, first published in National Review, where Rich Lowry is the editor. @ Richlowry

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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