Floriduh’s finest Ron DeSantis had a bad day killing kiddies to own the Libs for his 2024 Goat Rodeo aspirations (it’s Axios, so all weird formatting, emboldening and enigmatic bullet usage is totally THEIRS):
After record-shattering daily COVID-19 counts, school boards in Florida’s Hillsborough and Miami-Dade Counties held emergency meetings Wednesday and voted to again require face coverings on campuses.
Why it matters: The districts are the nation’s fourth- and seventh-largest — representing more than 600,000 students.
- They join Broward, Leon and Alachua Counties in openly defying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education.
State of play: Hillsborough reported Wednesday that there were 1,840 confirmed cases among students and staff, and that 10,000 students and staff were quarantined.
Ten THOUSAND people is the size of my childhood hometown in California! But I interrupted, do continue.
A big change: Students had been allowed to opt out of wearing a mask at school if they filled out a simple form. The measure approved Wednesday now requires that a certified health care provider document the medical or psychological need to be unmasked.
- The policy goes into effect immediately and lasts for 30 days.
Yes, but: Lots of questions about the political and financial repercussions for defying DeSantis remain.
- His administration had threatened to dock the salaries of superintendents and school board members who don’t allow parents to opt out, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
What they’re saying: The board listened to nearly two hours of public comments that exposed the intense political nature of the issue, and a depressing level of misinformation.
- One man apologized to the parents who have lost children to COVID and then audaciously told them that masks would not have prevented their children’s deaths.
- Others, who called themselves “patriots” several times, mocked masks as “face diapers” and said they refused to live in fear.
Face diapers. Well, clearly in certain cases that would be true… Meanwhile, in a weird coinkykink, it seems that a top DeSantis donor has a major investment in Regeneron, the maker of the VERY EXPENSIVE coronavirus drug that DeSantis has been promoting instead of FREE vaccines:
According to the Associated Press, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund, has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as well as options to buy its stock.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has donated $10.75 million to a political committee that supports DeSantis. He also donated $5.75 million in 2018 and $5 million last April.
Citadel’s investment in Regeneron is a tiny fraction of its overall $39 billion in investments, but if the stock price were to go up, Citadel would benefit. DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw points out that Citadel has far greater investments in Moderna and Pfizer, which manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
And that is called hedging your bets. You get buckets of cash for the Vaccine and buckets of cash for the therapy treatment, so Citadel wins either way.
You’ll never guess who else is winning: Insurance companies!
Coronavirus patients who end up hospitalized — the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated — are increasingly likely to be on the hook for their medical bills, according to a new KFF analysis.
Where it stands: Early in the pandemic, most insurers waived out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus hospitalizations.
- But with vaccines readily available, many patients are once again on the hook for deductibles and co-pays, which could make remaining unvaccinated a lot more expensive.
Gives all new meaning to Dead Broke.