Florida

Drug could be ready by summer’s end; Florida orders ‘brick and mortar’ schools to open; 130,000 US deaths

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 130,000 but a U.S. pharmaceutical company says it could have initial doses of a drug ready by the end of summer that could treat or even prevent COVID-19.

A $450 million federal awarded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could help get the drug to “many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic,” the company said in a statement.

The news comes as confirmed cases surge across most of the U.S. – Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is “still knee-deep in the first wave of this.” Arizona is one hot spot: The state reported over 100,000 cases Monday, and more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases involve people younger than 44, state officials said.

In Florida, another hot spot, the fall semester begins next month for public schools. The state’s education chief ordered school boards to “open brick

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Florida Has 4th Worst Unemployment Recovery In Country

ACROSS FLORIDA — As recent outbreaks of the coronavirus in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona cause a new wave of shutdowns, MoveOn.org is calling on Congress to extend coronavirus emergency unemployment funding through the end of the year.

The petition has been signed by more than one million people so far.

Without an extension, unemployment benefits are set to expire on July 31.

“Many people who are laid off due to COVID-19 won’t find work for a very long time, maybe never because some jobs lost today won’t be coming back,” reads the petition. “People will need time and resources to learn and develop a new skill. By ending the $600 per week additional unemployment assistance too soon, we will certainly be dooming people to tragic futures. This will have far-reaching ramifications. We need to look out for each other during these unprecedented times. Please let’s help each other

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Los Angeles, Florida counties to close beaches for July 4th weekend; WHO warns ‘worst is yet to come’; 126K US deaths

As coronavirus cases climbed in the U.S. and across the globe, the World Health Organization director general warned “the worst is yet to come” and European Union leaders were ready to extend the ban on American travelers for at least two more weeks.

Adjustments were being made to help slow spreading of the disease. Jacksonville, Florida, which is scheduled to host the GOP convention, is mandating masks, though it’s not clear for how long. Broadway stages will remain dark through 2020. And beaches in Los Angeles and several Florida counties will be closed for Fourth of July weekend as cases surge.

Also, a drug company’s steep price for remdesivir, a drug that has shortened recovery times for severe COVID-19 patients by about 31%, is drawing criticism.

Some good news? The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could be widely available by year’s end.

Here are

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why Republicans are set for Florida convention amid pandemic

<span>Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Every four years, Democrats and Republicans stage their national conventions, huge primetime events at which presidential nominations are formally bestowed amid cascades of balloons, in front of cheering crowds.

On 20 August, a little more than two months before election day, Joe Biden will duly accept the Democratic nomination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A week later, Donald Trump will be crowned by Republicans in Jacksonville, Florida.

Related: Trump mocks ‘basement’ strategy but prudent approach pays off for Biden

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, almost everything else will not proceed as usual. But the two parties will follow radically different paths.

This week, as the US death toll passed 124,000 and cases surged in many states, Democrats announced a slimmed-down convention, mostly online and with physical events staged under guidance from public health experts. Biden’s speech, for example, has been moved to a smaller venue.

Republicans have also

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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz Tells the Story of the Teen He’s Been Raising Whom He Calls His ‘Son’

Six years ago, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz says, he met the young boy he now calls his son.

Nestor Galban was 12 and had just arrived from Cuba, where he’d grown up and where his mother had recently died of breast cancer, Gaetz says. Then a state legislator, Gaetz was dating Nestor’s older sister.

And so Nestor moved in with them — “a modern family,” Gaetz says now.

He says that, except for an interruption during Nestor’s junior year after Gaetz and Nestor’s sister broke up, Nestor has basically lived with him since moving from Cuba.

“He is a part of my family story,” Gaetz, 38, tells PEOPLE, adding: “My work with Nestor, our family, no element of my public service could compare to the joy that our family has brought me.”

Geatz did not formally adopt Nestor (and he declines to discuss Nestor’s relationship with his biological family now).

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