The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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WMNF Daily news digest, called "The Scoop"

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Ladapo weighs in (again) on COVID-19 response

Florida’s Public Health Integrity Committee met yesterday to discuss responses during the COVID-19 pandemic on the federal and state levels. The committee is headed by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.

Florida reviews Medicaid eligibility

More than 900,000 Floridians could soon lose their Medicaid health insurance after a federal waiver for the COVID-19 pandemic expired. Now the state is reviewing eligibility — and trying to minimize the number of people who are dropped from the program.

DeSantis puts temporary hold on execution of prisoner

Gov. Ron DeSantis yesterday temporarily put a hold on the execution of Duane Eugene Owen and ordered a psychiatric evaluation of the Death Row inmate after his lawyers argued that he may be insane. 62-year-old Owen is slated to be executed by lethal injection on June 15. But DeSantis issued an executive order calling for three psychiatrists to evaluate Owen. According to the order, Owen’s lawyers sent a letter to the governor that included a neuropsychologist’s “recent evaluation” saying that Owen “meets the criteria for insanity.” Owen was “feeling that he is a woman in the body of a man” and “was trying to fully become the woman he really was,” according to the order, which quoted from the neuropsychologist’s report. Nothing in the recent report “demonstrates that Owen lacks the mental capacity to understand the nature of the death penalty and the reasons why it was imposed,” DeSantis’ order said. The psychiatric evaluations of Owen come after DeSantis signed a suite of bills targeting transgender treatment for children and adults and the LGBTQ community. One of the proposals prohibits doctors from using puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgeries for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Transgender Floridians wait for judge’s rulings

Transgender Floridians await rulings from a federal judge on two lawsuits that challenge state restrictions on gender-affirming hormones and surgeries. A trial on one of the cases — the state’s ban on Medicaid coverage for this care — wrapped up yesterday.

More on the NAACP travel advisory for Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies on diversity, race, and identity is causing some civil rights groups to advise travelers to stay clear of Florida. The NAACP says it was left with no choice but to issue a travel advisory. Miami Senator Shevrin Jones is the latest state lawmaker to back the move.

On Saturday, the nation’s largest Black advocacy group issued its warning, following similar moves from Equality Florida, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Tourism is the state’s biggest money maker.

Tampa Bay weather

In weather, it is mild and cloudy in the Tampa Bay area. Highs today will be in the upper 80s, but it feels like 96 with the heat index. Overnight lows will be in the lower 70s. Afternoon showers are expected most of the week.

Listen to WMNF’s The Scoop for Tuesday:

Thanks to WMNF’s Novia Levy for preparing The Scoop today.

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