Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has vowed to not place the state on a second lockdown or issue a statewide mask mandate, despite many other states who have reinstated restrictions following COVID-19 surges.
On Sunday, Florida reported 10,000 new cases, the largest number of cases in a single day since the peak over the summer.
In response to the Sunday report, DeSantis’ Director of Communications, Fred Piccolo Jr., emphasized that there was an increase in testing.
“Almost 150,000 Covid tests yesterday. 7.5% positivity rate. Still under 10%. Washing hands. Social distancing. Protect the elderly. Don’t lockdown. Keep calm and carry on,” Piccolo wrote on Twitter.
A spokesperson for Governor DeSantis told CBS12 News that the Governor will not lockdown and hurt families who can not afford to shelter-in-place for six weeks.
“Especially not for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate,” the spokesperson said. “One area of concern is Assisted Living Facilities. Since those over 70 face the greatest threat, the Governor is monitoring those numbers daily and is prepared to move therapeutic and prophylactic assets to those facilities as needed.”
At the end of September, DeSantis moved all of the state into Phase 3 of re-opening, which eliminated COVID-related business closures and capacity limitations.
His order made county-wide mask mandates unenforceable, by eliminating fines associated with them.
The state has seen a steady increase in cases and positivity rates since re-opening.
Overall, 56,907 people in the county have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began.
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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