WBZ, Donya Moseley, Robin Young discussed on Here & Now
From npr and wbz. You are donya moseley. I'm robin young. It's here now. We go to florida. I a stunning headline from miami. Dade public schools the fourth largest district in the country at least thirteen. Staffers have died from cova. Nineteen since august sixteenth. Not most before. School started two weeks ago but eyebrows are raising. The district is defying governor onto census ban on mask mandates. They do require masks but not vaccinations and the district says. None of the staffers who died were vaccinated. Alberto kavala is superintendent of miami. Dade county public schools superintendent Thirteen dead sad but scary a big number. Who were they. It is a big number it as bruising statistic that we need to absolutely internalize these are teachers for them. Were teachers The vast majority of them are bus drivers. There are some additional support personnel. And i think the sad statistic Underscores the impact of misinformation and diz information efforts at through some vocal entities. Who quite frankly profess anything. But scientific reality and the outcome. The consequence is the death of individuals. And that's just unacceptable teachers According to your local station there w lillian smith. An elementary school. Teacher never got to see her students on the first day of school. I mean i. I wanna so many things but let's start with so you are just appalled. This disinformation that. Maybe he's keeping from people from getting vaccinations but why not have vaccine mandate so that is a very good question In the state of floor that we are basically not allowed on the basis of statutes from mandating. Vaccinations pacific dacoven nineteen. That is the reality currently in florida. We don't even have the right to as an employer survey Our workforce Regarding whether or not they have been vaccinated so we defaulted to the next best thing at providing a two hundred seventy five dollars stipend to those who have been vaccinated as well as to those who will be vaccinated in a future. As long as they proved they have done. So i have to tell you that. the positivity rate in our community remains extremely high. It's currently at nine point. Seven five percent with elevated hospitalizations elevated icu cases and a growing number one in four in terms of pediatric cases. Recognizing the impact on young people is not a severe as those who are older but cannot be ignored. The as you say for instance children under twelve there is no vaccine for them right now. Thank goodness if they were to get the illness. It is generally not as severe although in some cases it is as it is for adults. Put but meantime. I'm sorry to ask again but you say you cannot Have a vaccine mandate well. By the governor's decree you can't have a mass mandate and you do your defying. That is there any thought of defying the vaccine requirement. We are the fine. The mass mandate because the one It is well endorsed by scientific knowledge. That children and adults Wearing masks particularly in indoor settings is a preventive measure against the spread of Covert nineteen particularly this much. More aggressive variant. We continue to look at other protocols Specific to protective measures of for our school system and that includes obviously a vaccination. That's an ongoing discussion with other school systems. As well as the state of florida. Look we have a little bit of time here but we know that cases are rising among kids across the us what happened. You had all these. Staffers die from in nineteen. Did you have to quarantine kids. Did they come in. Contact with kids. wha what's the situation so despite the very harsh and bruising painful reality associated with the loss of thirteen of our colleagues the vast majority of those individuals contract at it and were hospitalized and passed away prior to the beginning of the school year and put with that high number. I'm sure parents are out of their minds about what happens going forward. You bus drivers lunch from Staff teachers who might be next. Well you know the best way the best way to protect The workforce and the students is by exercising the cdc recommended strategies which includes no physical distancing in classrooms in school buses and cafeterias alternate seating areas for mealtimes and then providing not only the incentives but also access to free vaccination which we continue to do in our schools so we have six to seven sites every single week. A where we vaccinate students with parental consent zones. They are twelve and older employees as well as members of the community. The biggest danger quite frankly is the fact that they are constantly bombarded with information that is not fact based that is not medically endorsed and serves no purpose other than creating confusion the results and fortunately in the death of people. Like we've seen here in miami dade alberto corallo superintendent of miami dade county public schools. Best to you going forward. Thank you thank you very much. Robin black homeowners impacted by a long standing fema requirement will now be able to receive aid after a disaster governmental agency is now making sweeping changes to a policy that disproportionately impacted black homeowners in the south. Who didn't have documentation like deeds to show proof of ownership to understand this a little more. We're joined by. Chauncey willis co founder and chief executive officer of the institute for diversity and inclusion an emergency management and chauncey joins us from louisiana. Welcome thank you. I'm happy to be here. You're there in louisiana helping to assess the needs of people that have been impacted by this latest storm. How significant is this new. Change to the rule. This is going to be a very significant. And i'm hoping very hopeful that it will be a positive change for the the the hundreds of thousands of disaster survivors that have been impacted by this inequitable policy and these groups of marginalized people who are disproportionately black and brown have not received billions and disaster relief funding when they and their families have needed. Most as i mentioned you're in louisiana assessing the needs of the people there. Do you feel these rules. Go far enough. Well you know it's great to celebrate this significance doubt but fema congress and and the biden administration should make the policy retroactive beyond hurricane ida beyond hurricane ida and it's sad that disaster survivors had to suffer the most impacts negative impacts this policy on top of their initial loss through numerous disasters and and hurricane katrina sandy. What are some of the impacts of not receiving emergency aid especially considering that many of those living in coastal regions as you mentioned experience multiple weather disasters during a lifetime. Wow the impacts are tremendous the data demonstrates that vulnerable groups recover at a.