Charlie Crist predicts Congress will pass more coronavirus relief

Congress member and former Florida governor Charlie Crist

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Hillsborough County will have a nightly curfew. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the county’s Emergency Policy Group voted 5-3 Monday to toughen their message about social distancing to include a nightly curfew between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. It’s another tool for law enforcement to stop large gatherings.

Meanwhile, across the Bay, The Pinellas County Commission will decide on Thursday whether to open private pools and parts of beaches for individual exercise.

On WMNF’s MidPoint Monday, St. Petersburg-area member of Congress, Charlie Crist, said all Americans should work together to get through the coronavirus emergency.

“The challenge that we’re going through is a little bit less challenging until we get to the point where the virus does subside. We have the best and brightest working on this, Sean. We as Americans understand how important this is. Sadly, we have the most cases reported in the world.

“I think that having these great scientists and physicians not only working on a vaccine but ways to address this issue as quickly as possible is critical. That is happening as we speak. There are an awful lot of people bringing everything to bear on a nonpartisan basis to just help people get through this thing.”

Listen to the full show here.

Last month Congress passed the CARES Act to help Americans recover from the economic shock of the coronavirus emergency. In fact, some people are getting checks deposited into their bank accounts Monday. Rep. Crist said more relief could be on its way.

“Obviously there’s a lot going on but the Congress is working very, very hard to get these needed monies to not only small businesses but also individuals.

This is a difficult time for everybody, especially for Florida, Seán, because as you know we depend on tourism so much and so little travel is occurring right now.

“So I think these funds from the Congress, from the Treasury and the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration are critical and vital. Thank God we were able to get it passed week before last.

“As you know the total is $2.2 trillion and we’re looking at putting together already a fourth stimulus package that could be passed either this week or next.

“That will add to the amount the $350 billion you talked about for small business.

And the numbers they’re looking to add to it is $250 billion more. This thing continues to evolve obviously as other things become known.

The Congress is in a mindset to react, to help people, to do what’s right. Frankly to do unto others as you would have done unto you, the Golden Rule which I love. And I think it’s so important that we focus on just doing what’s right.

“This is the time, Seán, of very little politics. It’s not about right versus left, ideologically. It’s about right versus wrong and it’s right to help people in a crisis such as this, to do everything we can to mitigate the challenges that we’re all facing and get us on the other side of it as quickly as possible.”

Listen to the 5:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 13 April 2020:

Listen to the 4:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 13 April 2020:

Listen to the 3:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 13 April 2020:

 

Here’s more information on the Hillsborough County curfew, provided by the county’s Emergency Operations Center:

 

Curfew Goes Into Effect in Hillsborough County Tonight, Monday, April 13

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No.65

 

Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 13, 2020) – A curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in response to COVID-19 coronavirus will go into effect in Hillsborough County starting this evening, Monday, April 13.

 

A majority of the members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group

(EPG) voted this afternoon to implement the curfew in response to reports that some people are disregarding the State and Hillsborough’s Safer-at-Home Orders, and are participating in large social gatherings.

 

Going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or to/from another essential activity, is still allowed during curfew hours. Otherwise, residents must stay off the streets. Social gatherings are not considered essential.

 

Also, EPG members endorsed the concept of an order mandating residents to wear face coverings while in public where they will interact with other people.

This would include in stores, while using public transit, or running essential errands. EPG members asked that a draft of such an order, similar to one adopted in Osceola County, be prepared for review and implementation at their next meeting on Thursday, April 16.

 

In addition to maintaining 6-foot social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control advises the use of face coverings to slow the spread of the virus, and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. A medical mask is not necessary for most people. Simple cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. For a video about how to make a simple cloth facemask, go to Hillsborough County’s Official YouTube Channel (https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyRt4an99Oqo&data=02%7C01%7CSean%40wmnf.org%7C9d1998fa41e04277b8b108d7dff3664a%7Ceff8000820724c42b3fe736c3260d23f%7C0%7C0%7C637224108816140088&sdata=QIJjfvMBpMflhR8AM%2FwL9vih16RG%2FTC2V3Emju%2B8VJk%3D&reserved=0).

 

In other action, EPG members heard:

A presentation from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health about a project to model projections for the spread of COVID-19 in the Tampa Bay area. The information could be used to predict the timetable for a surge of cases, as well as when public safety measures can be adjusted or lifted. Details on how residents can participate in a community survey for the project will be available later this week.

That a plan has been completed for an alternate-care facility, should one be necessary if local hospitals become overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

That a plan for testing options for residents who do not have transportation or who are homebound are almost finalized.

 

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group is comprised of three County Commissioners, the mayors from the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the Sheriff, and Chairman of the School Board. Authority is granted by Article 8 of the Florida Constitution, Section 125.66 and Chapter 252, Florida Statutes. Hillsborough County enacted Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances and Laws Chapter 22, Article II, Sections 22-23 in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the County’s residents during declared emergencies.

 

The next EPG meeting is scheduled Thursday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m.

 

Get Connected. Stay Alert.

For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the county, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system.

Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County’s main information line.