Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week hired a new surgeon general who has become notorious for questioning the science behind masks and vaccines, as well as for appearing in a pro-hydroxychloroquine video with infamous "demon sperm" Dr. Stella Immanuel.
Now the Sun-Sentinel is reporting that newly minted Florida surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo is wasting no time ripping up the state's few COVID-19 public health regulations.
Specifically, Ladapo has ruled that parents no longer have to quarantine their children if they've been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Rather, parents will have the option of keeping their kids home from school or sending them in.
"The new rule wipes out a previous one that required students to quarantine off-campus at least four days after exposure to someone with the virus," the Sun-Sentinel writes. "It does not alter Florida's ban against mask mandates, however, as it reiterates the previous order's requirement that parents be able to opt-out their children from wearing face coverings."
The appointment of Ladapo marks the latest effort by DeSantis to rip up any public health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, which so far has killed neatly 680,000 Americans and nearly 52,000 Florida residents.
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday will call on countries and companies around the world to create a $10 billion global health fund to prepare for future pandemics, and announce a $250 million contribution from the United States to jumpstart the effort, a White House official said.
Harris will make the announcement during a virtual COVID-19 summit being held on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly. It is aimed at boosting vaccinations worldwide with the goal of ending the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2022.
Harris will be chairing a session on preventing future pandemics, a senior administration official said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United States promised to buy 500 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-pledges-new-vaccine-donations-bid-rally-global-pandemic-fight-2021-09-22 to donate to other countries as it faces increasing pressure to share its supply with the rest of the world.
The United States has also been criticized for planning booster shots for fully vaccinated Americans while millions of people around the world still do not have access to the life-saving vaccines. Other countries including the UK and Israel have already begun booster shot campaigns.
The new Global Health Security Financial Intermediary Fund will be created at the World Bank to coalesce resources for pandemic preparedness, the White House official said.
The Biden administration will also request an additional $850 million from the U.S. Congress for the fund, to build on the $630 million in such funding that was secured for fiscal year 2021.
"Her leadership over the last several months has included very specific engagement on preparing for the next pandemic," a senior administration official said of Harris.
"She has said it is clear we are not ready for the next pandemic," the official said, adding that in order to be prepared we need to build the resources to help low-income countries and put in place "some sort of... early warning governance structure."
During her speech, Harris will also call on countries to create a global health threats council, which would elevate biological threats to the heads of state level to enable accountability among nations, the official said.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was part of a hearing involving voting rights laws on Wednesday when he asked the expert panel whether the Texas voting laws or voter identification laws were racist. One by one, each expert explained to him that it was.
Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, began by telling the senator that one major thing is that people shouldn't treat all voter I.D. laws the same. Understandably there are laws that allow for all forms of I.D. from student I.D.'s, utility bills, cell phone bills, or any other possible way to prove identity. Other states restrict voter I.D. to only being a driver's license. Technically, because driver's licenses cost money, that could be considered a poll tax.
For people who don't drive and don't have the money to update their driver's license, it becomes an illegal burden to vote.
"So, what voter I.D. laws are racist?" asked Cruz.
Tolson cited the Texas law.
"OK, so you think the entire state of Texas is racist," Cruz said. "What about requiring an I.D. to vote is racist."
"So, I think this is pretty reductive, sir. I didn't say that the entire state of Texas is racist," she replied.
"You just said my state of Texas!" Cruz said.
"Your voter I.D. law," she said.
"The voter I.D. law is," Cruz replied.
"Absolutely," she replied. "So, the fact that the voter I.D. law was put into place to diminish the power of Latinos with racist intent and was found to have racist intent."
"What's your evidence for that?" Cruz asked.
"The federal district court that first resolved the intentionality of Texas' voter I.D. law," she explained
Cruz moved on to the other speakers asking them one-by-one if they thought that voter I.D. laws were racist. All of them agreed.
See the video below:
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